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« Unwitting Christians and Other Anomalous Creatures The RantsDover Watch - Lawsuit Filed »

Reiki Bullshit In Our Own Backyard
2004.12.14 (Tue) 00:55

Reading through a recent JREF weekly update, we were startled to see the name of a fairly local hospital, Chilton Memorial in New Jersey, apparently offering Reiki sessions. JREF reader Richard Seibel had the following to say:

Since the New Vitality Center is under the auspices of the hospital, the hospital is putting what IMHO used to be their good name behind this program and the courses that are offered. I tried to find the same level of debunking on Reiki that I was able to get on Reflexology, but for some reason there is far less. Perhaps it is so far off the wall, there is almost no legitimate research on it? So I went to the source — what Reiki claims it can do. It was worse than I had anticipated, e.g. Level 2 (out of 4) is the ability to heal from a distance. So, armed with some information, I went to the staff asking why Reiki is being offered. The staff said, "it works, it is amazing...." I asked, "Do you believe somebody waving their hands across the room can actually heal someone?" Incredibly enough, the response I got back was, "They have done it over the telephone."

Further discussion yielded that the Sports Rehab facility associated with the hospital uses Reiki and some doctors in the hospital are recommending Reiki to their patients.

Other than the references in JREF about claiming to heal remotely (including over the phone), we weren't fully up to snuff on this particular brand of bullshit, so we went off to read up on Reiki, and to understand why this hospital was peddling it. As we feared, Reiki falls squarely into the ranks of other medical quackery that we've come to know and loathe, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, and reflexology (which, sadly, is also offered at this hospital).

Here is some of the information that we found about Reiki on the website for the International Center for Reiki Training:

A Brief Overview
The knowledge that an unseen energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times. The existence of this "life force energy" has been verified by recent scientific experiments, and medical doctors are considering the role it plays in the functioning of the immune system and the healing process.

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through you and surrounds you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit and creates many beneficial effects including relaxation and feelings of peace, security, and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results. Reiki is a simple, natural, and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use.

Damn! Once again, we are thwarted by evidence from the ever-popular "recent scientific experiments"! How can we possibly still doubt Reiki in the face of facts like these? Oddly, whenever this line is used to back up nonsensical claims, either no one is able to give any details of these experiments, or if they can provide details, it turns out the experiments were performed by like-minded purveyors of similar bullshit. Odd, that...

Is Reiki a Religion?
While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.

Nah, it has nothing to do with religion. It's just sent by God — that doesn't entail any religious belief, does it? I mean, lots of people who have no religious beliefs — atheists, if you will — believe in God, right? Oddly, the site uses the capital "G" God, and not something more generic. After all, this is supposed to be "Eastern Medicine" — if they are going to be specific, shouldn't they refer to some wacky Indian or Japanese god? But, since there aren't many non-Judeo-Christians in their target market, if they offend or scare off most of the locals, then there's no money in it, is there?

Our interest was also piqued by the statement that "Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not." Interesting. Most bullshit only professes to work for true believers, which provides an easy out. Whenever a skeptic claims that a method didn't work, the practitioner can just blame the patient for lack of faith. But these guys don't seem to be going that route. We may be able to use that to our advantage down the road...

Do All Healers Use Reiki?
There were two clairvoyant healers I knew who had highly developed abilities. They could easily see the life force flowing through a person's body, as well as see the aura and chakras. They could also communicate with a person's guides and Higher Self. They were adept at moving negative psychic energy out of the body as well as channeling healing energies. In my twenty years of metaphysical work, they were the most accurate and effective psychic healers I had met.

They told me later they had doubted there was anything I was teaching they couldn't already do, but that they took the Reiki training anyway, simply to support me in my new work. After the attunement, they were amazed at the difference they could feel between the healing energies they had been using and Reiki. They said the Reiki energies were more powerful and of a much higher frequency.

Wow, so it's even better and more effective at healing than regular old clairvoyance?! That's saying a lot — I guess we should go sign up! Seriously, folks — if the litany of bullshit credentials that are tacitly validated by this quote don't make you shy away from this crap, I don't know what will.

We then checked out Chilton's New Vitality Program website to see what they said about their Reiki sessions. On page fifteen of their Fall 2004 newsletter, we found the following:

Experience the healing power of Reiki. Reiki, which means spiritually guided life force energy, dates back to ancient times. The 15-minute treatment is given to the recipient with the practitioner gently placing his/her hands on specific body areas. The recipient is fully clothed and sits in a chair. By appointment only from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays at the Chilton Memorial Collins Pavilion. Fee: $10 for seniors 50 and older, $15 for the general public.

There was also a blurb about the benefits of their reflexology sessions on that page as well. Hey, at least shelling out $25 for 15 minutes of reflexology gets you a foot massage. For $10 worth of Reiki, all you get is some fuckwad "placing his/her hands on specific body areas." If that's not utter crap, then we don't know what is.

JREF reader Richard Seibel ended up largely frustrated when he questioned Chilton about their Reiki sessions, as he states in his letter on JREF:

[Chilton Memorial left it] with, "there are some people who like it and they come back — others don't. ... and people seem to want it." Of course, on my part I have no influence, so I thanked them for listening.

As far as we are concerned, "some people like it" is a pretty crappy reason for a medical institution to validate pseudo-medical bullshit, and we aim to find out just what the holy Hell Chilton is thinking. In addition, we think it's high time that someone turned the spotlight on Reiki, starting with learning exactly what certification or credentials it takes to be a Reiki Master, and exposing the whole practice for the load of crap that it really is. We'll keep you updated right here in our Rants as our research progresses.

To Be Continued...


— • —
[  Filed under: % Bullshit  ]

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Comments (78)

Robert Mapson, 2005.08.22 (Mon) 00:26 [Link] »

What really pisses me off about reiki (apart from its blatant bullshit factor) is the increasingly common comment about it being "an ancient form of healing". This history of reiki shows how ancient it is. Presumably the alternatistas think less than a century is ancient. Just more evidence of lack of logical rigour and extending the truth (if any). Sigh. If these magicians can heal from a distance, why don't they just send their magic waves into the air, and eliminate all illness and disease? Oh sorry, I forgot they were all charlatans as well.



Lois Flynne, 2005.10.25 (Tue) 01:04 [Link] »

The local vet school is doing a reiki study on dogs with hip dysplasia and other orthopedic problems.As a rationalist who deplores quackery and the current regress away from science into mysticism and superstition whether of an Eastern or Western flavor, I aim to conduct my own campaign to debunk these idiots and can use all the help I can get...
I am very interested in any so called scientific studies that have been done to evaluate reiki and scientific critiques of these studies. Of course the very premise of reiki denies well established laws of physics and chemistry . I guess we better drop Newton and Einstein and Bohr et al from the curriculum, Of course Darwin has already been trashed by the new ID.. Vomit/



The Two Percent Company, 2005.10.28 (Fri) 21:01 [Link] »

Lois,

We certainly know how you feel. Every time we see ads or notices for one of the many forms of quackery in wide use today, it makes us cringe. We noticed that your dilemma concerns Reiki on dogs — which will make any results of the study highly questionable (since dogs aren't quite as capable when it comes to reporting the results of their treatments). Typical.

Sadly, we are as yet unaware of any completed studies of Reiki, either good or bad. Unlike more mainstream forms of quackery, like chiropractics or acupuncture, Reiki seems to be so off the wall that most people don't bother to run serious tests. We do know that the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is in the midst of four studies, but none of the results seem to have been published yet. As a note, we have not been impressed by the NCCAM's past studies, so anything they release will be taken with a grain of salt. We found a number of problems with one of their acupuncture studies earlier this year.

If you haven't already, check out Quackwatch, a great resource for researching all kinds of medical quackery.

Good luck!



The Two Percent Company, 2005.10.28 (Fri) 21:16 [Link] »

Robert — oops, how did we miss your comment? Sorry about that.

In our experience, even if a particular treatment is truly ancient in its origins (and there is no evidence that Reiki falls into that category), today's practitioners don't generally follow the ancient "guidelines." Instead, they prefer to practice their own made-up offshoots of these "treatments" while still referring to them as ancient in order to, in some way, validate them.

One example is acupuncture. Like most "ancient eastern" remedies, traditional acupuncture is said to be all about energy forces. In acupuncture, these forces are supposedly manipulated through the use of sharp objects which are inserted into the body at various points. When this was actually practiced in the ancient east, though, it bore little resemblance to today's acupuncture. Back then, the sharp instruments were likely blades, and they were placed in one of a few hundred points around the body. Today, the sharp objects are specific needles which are placed in one or more of thousands of points around the body. In addition, an electrical current is often run through the needles, something which, for obvious reasons, those ancient eastern acupuncturists just didn't do. As you can see, this bears little resemblance to the originally practiced acupuncture.

Basically, the quacks want to do it their way, but still make claims of being "ancient." The really sad part is that so many people fall for it.



Richard Seibel, 2005.11.24 (Thu) 00:53 [Link] »

What a surprise to wander around and find that my frustration that got aired on JREF is being quoted elsewhere!



The Two Percent Company, 2005.11.30 (Wed) 23:41 [Link] »

Good to hear from you, Richard. As we mentioned, Chilton is entirely too close for comfort for some of our members, so your story really struck a nerve. Although we haven't done our follow-up yet, we are still planning on following your example and confronting the Chilton folks with just how ridiculous their Reiki program is. Even if their response is as unsatisfactory as the one they gave you, we still feel the need to give it a shot.



smith, 2005.12.04 (Sun) 20:46 [Link] »

Reiki Rocks. you idiots.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.04 (Sun) 22:26 [Link] »

Ah, a voice of reason and logic. That was so incredibly well thought-out and eloquent, smith. Did you come up with it all by yourself, or did your mommy help you with the big words?



Jake, 2005.12.12 (Mon) 18:57 [Link] »

Simply put, everything is energy (E=mc^2), everything is connected. Reiki and accupuncture make sense once you understand a little quantum physics, and the holographic nature of our (illusury) reality.

-www.meaningoflife.i12.com/healing-valid.htm-

"The Science Behind Reiki - What Happens in a Treatment?
Independent research by Dr Robert Becker and Dr John Zimmerman during the 1980's investigated what happens whilst people practice therapies like Reiki. They found that not only do the brain wave patterns of practitioner and receiver become synchronised in the alpha state, characteristic of deep relaxation and meditation, but they pulse in unison with the earth's magnetic field, known as the Schuman Resonance. During these moments, the biomagnetic field of the practitioners' hands is at least 1000 times greater than normal, and not as a result of internal body current. Toni Bunnell (1997) suggests that the linking of energy fields between practitioner and earth allows the practitioner to draw on the 'infinite energy source' or 'universal energy field' via the Schuman Resonance. Prof Paul Davies and Dr John Gribben in The Matter Myth (1991), discuss the quantum physics view of a 'living universe' in which everything is connected in a 'living web of interdependence'. All of this supports the subjective experience of 'oneness' and 'expanded consciousness' related by those who regularly receive or self-treat with Reiki.
Zimmerman (1990) in the USA and Seto (1992) in Japan further investigated the large pulsating biomagnetic field that is emitted from the hands of energy practitioners whilst they work. They discovered that the pulses are in the same frequencies as brain waves, and sweep up and down from 0.3 - 30 Hz, focusing mostly in 7 - 8 Hz , alpha state. Independent medical research has shown that this range of frequencies will stimulate healing in the body, with specific frequencies being suitable for different tissues. For example, 2 Hz encourages nerve regeneration, 7 Hz bone growth, 10Hz ligament mending, and 15 Hz capillary formation. Physiotherapy equipment based on these principles has been designed to aid soft tissue regeneration, and ultra sound technology is commonly used to clear clogged arteries and disintegrate kidney stones. Also, it has been known for many years that placing an electrical coil around a fracture that refuses to mend will stimulate bone growth and repair."



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.13 (Tue) 00:23 [Link] »

Hey, Jake. You know what's worse than being stupid? Being stupid and arrogant. We've said many times that one of the biggest problems facing our country (and our world) today is the fact that not only are so many people so fucking stupid, ignorant, and uneducated, but more importantly they have no clue how fucking stupid, ignorant, and uneducated they really are. The morons who whine about how intelligent design is just as scientifically valid as evolution, and then go on to prove with their further statements that they really have no fucking clue what science is or how it works...they're at the top of that list. You are now #2.

See, in reality, Jake, we understand a lot of quantum physics — far, far more than you, it seems. We also know that The Holographic Universe was a ridiculous book with no grounding in evidentiary presentation using the scientific method. Sure, it started with some nice little details on scientific phenomena, just enough to make you think Talbot knows his shit — but then the whole fucking rest of the book was nothing but anecdote after anecdote, many of them centuries old and therefore completely unverifiable. Of course, morons like you often equate "wild assed anecdotes" with "scientific evidence." Wrong, dickhead.

In short, that book would almost have us believe, based on zero actual evidence, that we are all living in the illusory world of The Matrix. So, taking that completely unsupported bullshit belief as 100% accurate, your argument is: hey, if Neo can stop bullets and fly around like Superman, then Reiki could be true as well, right? You're welcome to believe that ludicrous load of crap if you like, but please don't try to pass it off as being even remotely scientific.

As for your assertion that Reiki has anything to do with quantum physics, go read an actual book on quantum physics — we've linked to several on our site — and get back to us when you have a fucking inkling of what you're talking about. Fuck, our eyes feel violated just reading the ridiculous bullshit that you're trying to pass off as science. The Schumann Resonance is some kind of magical happy Reiki field?!? When will asshats like you stop obscenely twisting actual science and pretending it confirms your bullshit beliefs? Do us and the rest of the non-moron world a favor: read up on the Schumann Resonance — in a source that is not about proving any form of stupid paranormal bullshit — before you open your ignorant pie hole again, and stop shitting on Winfried Schumann's and Nikola Tesla's graves.



Jake, 2005.12.15 (Thu) 01:15 [Link] »

Wow, you must be really offended by anything that goes against your belief system. Otherwise the obscenities would be far less. I understand science is a good way to stay in the consensus reality, and not look outside the box too much. We wouldn't want to come up with any crazy ideas; after all, didn't Einstein dream up ideas, crazy thought experiments, before testing them out with mathematics? Look, I don't wan't to offend any of you, since I know you wouldn't do the same to me. However, from PERSONAL experience, I practice Reiki and can assure you that I've had many positive, practicle, first hand results. Now I don't expect you to believe me, of course, because, after all, that wouldn't be scientific of you. But, here goes. One trait of this practice is that sometimes the hands of the practitioner heat up way beyond normal, especially if the recipient's cell's are in need of energy. Once again, I've experienced this many times, along with the pains and symptoms of my friends/patients going away afterwards. If you truly were a scientist, maybe you would experiment and get a treatment for yourself, and see if you noticed overly hot hands during the session, or any of your pains (if you have any) going away afterward. Reiki may not be provable by the scientific method standards, but give it a few years, maybe it will. The field of science and spirit is merging; many quantum physicists are now beginning to see this. To say that the ancients and indigineous who meditated collectively for thousands of years and worked with the Earth are merly savage and don't know squat is just as ignorant to say that we're all going to be swept up by UFO's and taken away from this dreadful dyeing planet. Why is it so hard to even begin to think about the possibilities of this infinite vibrating specrum we call the universe? When everything's a pulsating, interconnected, resonating web of energy, why are things like Reiki hard to imagine. I'm not trying to ask you to accept these healing modalities as FACT, I'm just trying to get you (slightly) more skeptical people to accept them as a POSSIBILITY. Ok, now time for you to curse my out....



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.15 (Thu) 12:38 [Link] »

No, Jake, we aren't "offended by anything that goes against [our] belief system." A cursory reading of our site would handily establish that fact. Another fact it would establish is that we are offended by asswads like you shoving pseudoscience in our faces, without any evidence or even a particularly cohesive hypothesis, and expecting us to validate your bullshit with respect, or at least a "Well, gee, maybe...." Not gonna happen.

Why are we pissed at you? Because there's nothing original here, Jake. Nothing. You're following the same old boring fucking pattern that every bullshit artist follows, and we're sick and fucking tired of it. You think our swearing means we're "offended"? Wrong, fucko. It means we're pissed. Yes, we actively despise assholes like you. Ooh, here's the epitome of an original thought from one of you idiots:

We wouldn't want to come up with any crazy ideas; after all, didn't Einstein dream up ideas, crazy thought experiments, before testing them out with mathematics?

Oh, for fuck's sake, don't fucking walk in here and start comparing yourself to Einstein, dickhead. Every fucking boring idiotic troglodyte with some pseudoscientific axe to grind pulls the same crap. "Hey, they laughed at Galileo!" "Hey, Einstein's ideas were pretty far out in his day!" There's a major fucking difference between men and women of science, like Galileo and Einstein, and fucksticks like you, Jake — none of them worked in a vacuum. Only morons like yourself think that Galileo came up with the Copernican model of the universe all by himself (here's a hint, schmuck — it's called the Copernican model, not the Galilean model). Only dipshits like yourself think that the Special and General Theories of Relativity owe nothing to the contributions of scientists besides Einstein. Meanwhile, those of us with fucking working brains, who have actually studied these people and their work, are quite aware that their stories are exemplary testaments to the scientific method, rather than being megalomaniacally self-serving odes to the individual scientists themselves. The fact that a heliocentric model of our solar system granted humankind such an excellent understanding of the orbits of the planets is not due to one man saying "Hey, I've got this crazy idea!" — but rather due to generations of intelligent critical thinkers making their way along the arduous but rewarding path we call the scientific method. The fact that relativistic equations so accurately describe the observations we can make at extremely large scales isn't because one guy said "Dudes, I think light might move at a really fast constant speed!" — but rather because countless other scientists explored the relevant phenomena both before and after he did; the former providing a foundation for his work, and the latter expanding and elaborating on his work.

If you truly were a scientist, maybe you would experiment and get a treatment for yourself, and see if you noticed overly hot hands during the session, or any of your pains (if you have any) going away afterward.

Well, apparently, we truly are scientists — because we have participated in the Reiki "process" first hand, fuckhole, and made observations for ourselves. Guess what? We still firmly believe Reiki is bullshit. (We're working up an entire Rant on our experiment with Reiki bullshit, including a transcript of the lamest pseudoscientific babble this side of Victor Zammit's brain.) So the next time you decide to make the so fucking common and recurring that it's just getting seriously goddamn annoying claim that we don't take part in paranormal experiments ourselves, think twice — unlike you, we actually do approach such issues from a scientific point of view, which includes personal observation and experimentation.

We're thrilled that you've deluded yourself into thinking the natural transference of heat between one person's body and another person's palms amounts to evidence of some Super-Secret Magical Fun Zap-O-Rays, but frankly, all that speaks to is your base credulity, which comes as absolutely no shock to us.

Reiki may not be provable by the scientific method standards, but give it a few years, maybe it will.

And we'll wait for that day with hope in our hearts and beer in our glasses. But until that day happens, you don't get to say you have a scientific basis for your belief in Reiki. Period. You have just admitted that you don't. And this after your feeble attempt to invoke actual scientific phenomena such as the Schumann Resonance. Is it really any wonder that we don't take you seriously?

The field of science and spirit is merging; many quantum physicists are now beginning to see this. To say that the ancients and indigineous who meditated collectively for thousands of years and worked with the Earth are merly savage and don't know squat is just as ignorant to say that we're all going to be swept up by UFO's and taken away from this dreadful dyeing planet.

Come on, folks, sing along, you should all know the words by now. We know we do. News flash, Jake — you're not presenting any "arguments" that we and most of our readers haven't heard countless times before.

Our suggestion: next time you're skimming a book by an actual, real life, honest Injun scientist in order to pick out the high-falutin' phrases with which to pepper your speech to make yourself sound important and wise, perhaps you should take a moment to understand the difference between metaphor and literal intention. It's not that hard. We know some nine-year-olds who could help you out with that.

And while you're at it, you might like to actually speak with some "indigenous" people (indigenous to what region, Jake? Please take the time to learn what words mean before attempting to do any intellectual heavy lifting with them). See how they approach the objective world around them in their daily lives. The "ancient" people of whom you speak are the ones who figured out how to make tools, fire and clothing, how to harness the power of agriculture and the obedience of domesticated beasts, and how to make known both information and sentiment through visual and verbal communication. They learned which plants and herbs were medicinal, and which were poisonous. They learned how to avoid being sensed by both predator and prey, and which prey were best to eat, and which best left alone. All of these accomplishments, all of these absolutely genius (and we mean that sincerely) feats, were made quite simply: using the scientific method. Observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation, over and over again in a circle that whirls faster and faster until, through trial and error, a solid fact congeals in its center. Did they (and do they) have nonsensical, unfounded, faith-based beliefs that were not derived by using the scientific method? Certainly — but only those that would not necessarily do them direct harm, such as believing in a spoiled and capricious man living above the clouds who occasionally needs a few overindulgent compliments.

Your belief in the efficacy of Reiki is the same as these other unfounded beliefs — something that is in no way based on a fully scientific journey of discovery, but which will most likely not do you any direct harm. Congratulations. You're a credulous idiot. Rock on with your bad self.

Why is it so hard to even begin to think about the possibilities of this infinite vibrating specrum we call the universe? When everything's a pulsating, interconnected, resonating web of energy, why are things like Reiki hard to imagine. I'm not trying to ask you to accept these healing modalities as FACT, I'm just trying to get you (slightly) more skeptical people to accept them as a POSSIBILITY.

Jake, you poor, deluded fool — there's nothing "hard" about thinking of such possibilities. Reiki isn't "hard" to imagine. We have incredibly good imaginations, and could tell some stories with concepts far beyond anything of which you, with your limited understanding of vocabulary and metaphor, are able to conceive. However, the foundation of Reiki is completely devoid of reasoned and verifiable evidence and experimentation, and therefore does not get a free pass on the express train to Credibility.

Face it, Jake — if you truly had the conviction of your beliefs, you wouldn't be corresponding with us. You'd be on the horn to James Randi in an effort to win an easy million bucks. So in reality — yes, that cruel, harsh, cold reality that has pretty well established that beliefs like yours are useful only as entertainment for cleverer folks — you just aren't as sure of yourself as you'd like us to believe. Hey, it's understandable. But just admit it (like you already did above). Stop claiming you have any scientific basis for beliefs that have no scientific basis. If you do that, you'll avoid us cursing you out. Until then: get a fucking clue, shit-for-brains.



Jake, 2005.12.17 (Sat) 19:59 [Link] »

First off, I wish to extend an apology for assuming you didn't try Reiki yourself.

Secondly, I most definitely was NOT comparing myself to Einstein; I was mearly giving an example of how imagination and dreams can lead to beautiful theories. Also, I am quite aware that he, and many other revolutionaries like him, do not live in a vacuum. I understand that new ideas come about and take root in composites of other colleagues ideas, as well as previously ascertained knowledge.

Thirdidly-dee- I never once claimed that this was scientific evidence, but I was trying to suggest some scientific experiments that show that something is going on. I never said Reiki was fact. My comments about the holographic principle did come off sounding as fact, so I retract the format of that statement.

As for the heat transference, it's not "normal temperature" body heat, or I wouldn't have made that statement, nor would I be convinced that there is something different going on here. Under many circumstances, depending on the need for healing energy of the recipient, the practitioners hands and the location on the recipient's body heat up way beyond normal temperature, as if they had heating pads on their hands. This is my personal experience, as has happened many times, and I'm not trying to make you believe this, just clarifying one of the reasons why I believe it works; the other reason being the recipients symptoms go away.

As for the Schuman resonance idea, that was not what I wrote, but what other people had written based on their studies. I found it interesting, so I posted it. I also didn't say this was definite proof of Reiki being real, and they didn't say that the Shuman resonance field WAS Reiki, but they hypothesized that it was some sort of conduit. So besides their comments on the Shuman resonance field, what do you think about their comments on the biomagnetic field of the practitioner hands, etc.?

As far as my comment about the Holographic Universe, you immediately assumed I was referring to Talbot's book, which I have read parts of, but wasn't necessarily referring to him. I also apologize for saying it in a "factual" manner. With that said, prominent physicists such as Nobel laureate Gerard 't Hooft, Leonard Susskind, David Bohm, Karl Pribram, and Edgar Mitchell use this analogy to explain certain phenomena of the subatomic realm; such as the faster-than-light communication that occurs between subatomic particles, the so called spooky action at a distance, for example. Yes the holographic model is a hypothesis, and yes, I admit I like it because it leaves room for the "non-local" realms.

About the injun scientist remark, I wasn't talking about indigenous quantum physicists, as that would be an oxymoron. Maybe I should have put a space between the two sentences. What I was trying to convey is that qualified scientists, such as the genius Mitchell, also have an interest in consciousness and spirituality, and folks like them are putting out theories that attempt to bridge the gap between the explicate and implicate orders, such as the holographic theory.

As for the indigenous peoples of the world (aborigines, Maya, native american), I was remarking about how they have an experiential understanding of "other realms", not so accessible to us more "civilized folk". And it is said (not as fact of course), that the Austrailian aborigines are able to communicate telepathically over long distances, telling the tribe what conditions lay ahead.

I do truly have the conviction of my belief in Reiki, because it has worked personally for me many many times, and surprised me many times. The reason I corresponded on this blog was because I was doing a search on Reiki; I linked directly to this page, and unfortunately knew nothing of the context of the web site, which on my part, I should have looked at before I made my comments. I've always felt Reiki was easy to believe in since you don't need to believe it for it to work, and because of the byproducts of a session. Having said that, I was surprised people were putting it down so harshly so I felt the need to respond. As for James Randi, I haven't a clue as to how I would PERSONALY attempt to prove it scientifically; with what instruments? With what method (yeah, I know, the Scientific)? I never even new of this contest before I came to this site.

So I apologize for my first post, where my comments came off as factual. However, your comments and language are quite ridiculous, as in the amount of time you spend personally attacking my intelligence, vocabulary, character, and imagination; besides what I have already posted, you don't know anything about me, and visa-versa. I mean really, that's middle-school language, and no self-respecting scientist would use that of talk to another human being to prove their point. Maybe they would, but it's highly "uncivilized."

Thank you for your time

By the way I do appreciate your companies views on defending the rights of people to express their beliefs, so long as it doesn't take away other's rights to do the same. And the Daily Show does indeed rock.



E!, 2005.12.17 (Sat) 21:15 [Link] »

From the home page of twopercentco.com:

"Our Goals" Our mission at the Two Percent Company is to expose the blatant stupidity and recklessness of many individuals and groups in our world — particularly those who have acquired a great amount of power, influence, and notoriety.

We plan to forge the unknown into common knowledge, to eradicate bullshit and ignorance — willful or otherwise — and, in general, to fight for truth, justice, and the use of science, reason and logic to further the progress of humankind.

From the start of this post: (dated 2004.12.14 (Tue) 00:55

"As far as we are concerned, "some people like it" is a pretty crappy reason for a medical institution to validate pseudo-medical bullshit, and we aim to find out just what the holy Hell Chilton is thinking. In addition, we think it's high time that someone turned the spotlight on Reiki, starting with learning exactly what certification or credentials it takes to be a Reiki Master, and exposing the whole practice for the load of crap that it really is.
We'll keep you updated right here in our Rants as our research progresses.
To Be Continued..."

So, do you actually make any attempt to stick your mission statement, or do you just start forums so you can express your views without any data to disprove them, and then bitch and moan at anyone who makes a response to the rant you began? I stumbled on this site by chance, and just browsed through your posts, and you sure seem to like to express your views without any "use of science, reason and logic to further the progress of humankind."

Sorry, but you just seem like a joke to me. It's been a whole year since your original post and you still haven't come up with any concrete evidence that proves that Reiki is just some "quako" healing technique.

here's a little reading you might want to catch up on (unless the national institute of health is just some "stupid" institution in your view:

http://consensus.nih.gov/1997/1997Acupuncture107html.htm


BTW, can you believe there are giant insurance companies that actually cover acupuncture? they must be idiots too!

So until you actually do a little research yourself, and come up with some evidence to prove how stupid and ignorant acupuncture and Reiki is, why don't you just shut the fuck up and stick to your mission statement?

yayaya, you'll probably just say "it's not my place to prove reiki doesn't work, it's those "quackos" job to prove that it does work"

That's just bullshit, it's your job to prove it's a sham, cause your the one that's calling it that,

Peace!
E



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.18 (Sun) 23:35 [Link] »

Sometimes it's hard dealing with people of such obvious stupidity, E! — it wears on us. We know, it's partly our own fault. When we "attack" moronic beliefs like Reiki, we inevitably offend morons. It goes with the territory, but that doesn't mean we enjoy reading your misguided diatribes and responding to them. Still, just for the sake of showing you how full of shit you are, we'll give it a go.

So, do you actually make any attempt to stick your mission statement, or do you just start forums so you can express your views without any data to disprove them, and then bitch and moan at anyone who makes a response to the rant you began? I stumbled on this site by chance, and just browsed through your posts, and you sure seem to like to express your views without any "use of science, reason and logic to further the progress of humankind."

If that's what you got out of our site, then you obviously have very little skill in the area of reading comprehension. Our advice is to bone up on that, then come back and re-read our Rants. Why? Because everything we write leans heavily on science, reason, logic, and common sense. If you can't see that, that sounds like your problem, not ours.

Sorry, but you just seem like a joke to me.

This coming from someone who buys into jokes like Reiki and acupuncture. Forgive us if we take this statement with a grain of salt, E! Frankly, if pseudoscientific quackery is your idea of something that's "not a joke," then we're happy to occupy the opposite end of that spectrum in your feeble little brain.

It's been a whole year since your original post and you still haven't come up with any concrete evidence that proves that Reiki is just some "quako" healing technique.

Well, since we never said that we were setting out to disprove Reiki, we don't really see your point. Perhaps we should yell at you for not taking out our garbage in over a year. Hey, you never said you'd do that, but that doesn't change the fact that you haven't, right? You pathetically stupid asshole.

here's a little reading you might want to catch up on (unless the national institute of health is just some "stupid" institution in your view: ...

First of all, we have read the NCCAM studies on acupuncture — and they are a joke, as a matter of fact. If you actually had any inkling of what constitutes good scientific protocol, you would be able to ascertain this for yourself. Since you don't appear to know that, we can only assume that your knowledge of science isn't vast enough to fill a thimble. Wow, see that? Reason and logic all in one paragraph.

BTW, can you believe there are giant insurance companies that actually cover acupuncture? they must be idiots too!

Yes, they are. Any other questions, dickhead? In fact, this is one of the reasons we are so pissed off in the first place. Because of this extra coverage for a treatment that is nothing but bullshit, our premiums are higher than they should be. If assholes like you would stop pushing this bullshit on the rest of us, we would be saving money. So yeah — it's personal, and we're pissed.

So until you actually do a little research yourself, and come up with some evidence to prove how stupid and ignorant acupuncture and Reiki is, why don't you just shut the fuck up and stick to your mission statement?

Does experiencing Reiki for ourselves first hand and personally witnessing that it had absolutely no fucking effect count? Hey, go fuck yourself. Seriously. We've done far more actual research into medical quackery than you've even seen on TV. Until you educate yourself at least to the level that we have educated ourselves on these topics, you really ought to keep your piehole shut.

yayaya, you'll probably just say "it's not my place to prove reiki doesn't work, it's those "quackos" job to prove that it does work"

That's just bullshit, it's your job to prove it's a sham, cause your the one that's calling it that,

No, asshat, that's not how it works. For someone who talks about logic and critical thinking as if they had a clue, you certainly don't have a fucking clue, do you? Once again, educate yourself. We've even written about why it's impossible to disprove the paranormal. If you can't follow the simple logic in that post, then there isn't much we can do for you.

In case your poor reading comprehension skills continue unabated, here's an example for you. We make the assertion that ass gnomes exist, and that they live in the assholes of some people. Presumably, this is an assertion that you believe to be a crock of shit (if we're wrong, and you do believe in the mysterious ass gnomes, then we know exactly what kind of credulous moron we're dealing with). So, prove us wrong. Go for it. Let us know when you're done, and what procedure you used. We'll be really interested in seeing your answer since it isn't fucking possible to completely disprove our statement. But since that's just bullshit, you should have no trouble proving us wrong. Go on — we're waiting.

People like you are one of our absolute least favorite things in this world, E! You hinder the potential success of the human species just by existing. It isn't just that you're abundantly stupid — and you certainly are that, if you take your own words above seriously — but worse yet, it's the arrogance that you portray despite that stupidity. So if you aren't going to try to dazzle us by disproving our Ass Gnome Hypothesis, do us all a favor and piss off.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 00:59 [Link] »

Jake,

First off, I wish to extend an apology for assuming you didn't try Reiki yourself.

We're happy to see that you are able to acknowledge your error in assuming that we hadn't tried Reiki for ourselves. Most people who come to our site for the sole purpose of explaining why their bullshit is the real deal and who make the same error that you did never get around to making that acknowledgment. So for that, we thank you.

Secondly, I most definitely was NOT comparing myself to Einstein; I was mearly giving an example of how imagination and dreams can lead to beautiful theories. Also, I am quite aware that he, and many other revolutionaries like him, do not live in a vacuum. I understand that new ideas come about and take root in composites of other colleagues ideas, as well as previously ascertained knowledge.

Yes, imagination and dreams can "lead" to beautiful theories — if you consider that one step east can to "lead" to China. But in science — all science — the imagination and dreams are just a jumping off point, and real scientists, the ones who actually construct workable theories and derive useful information or technology from them, have to go through the rest of the ten thousand mile journey to China by way of hard work and peer review. Our problem with folks who jump on the pseudo-science bandwagon is that they want to avoid all of the hard work and peer review and just have their beliefs automatically accepted as "real science." That just doesn't fly. When such folks agree to go through the proper channels, using the scientific method to determine their data and submitting that data to independent peer review repeatedly, then we'll start listening. Until then, when you make statements like those you made, you're mocking those who conduct actual scientific inquiry, and that is insulting. Do you understand yet why we got so pissed off at your initial comments, Jake?

And let's be honest — you were comparing Reiki proponents (though not necessarily yourself specifically) to Einstein. You were attempting to draw a parallel between Einstein and proponents of Reiki. Einstein had some radical ideas that other scientists hadn't thought of, but which had a foundation based on actual science, and which he went on to prove scientifically. Reiki proponents, on the other hand, have radical ideas that other scientists think are bullshit, and which have no factual or evidentiary basis, and which they have thus far completely failed to prove scientifically. There's a world of difference here, and the reason we jumped on your error was because we've heard this false analogy more times than we can count.

Thirdidly-dee- I never once claimed that this was scientific evidence, but I was trying to suggest some scientific experiments that show that something is going on. I never said Reiki was fact. My comments about the holographic principle did come off sounding as fact, so I retract the format of that statement.

Then we have to ask — and we do so in all sincerity — if you're not claiming that there is scientific evidence to support the validity of Reiki, then what's your point? Really, you are just offering another anecdote and expecting us (or others) to change our minds about Reiki. Really, we don't dispute the fact that "something is going on," we just have very striking differences in defining what that "something" may be. Do some people leave a Reiki session claiming that their ailments have been cured? Absolutely. While you may see such occurences as evidence that Reiki is real, we see a plethora of perfectly normal explanations for such claims (the most simple of which are the placebo effect and subjective validation).

As for the heat transference, it's not "normal temperature" body heat, or I wouldn't have made that statement, nor would I be convinced that there is something different going on here. Under many circumstances, depending on the need for healing energy of the recipient, the practitioners hands and the location on the recipient's body heat up way beyond normal temperature, as if they had heating pads on their hands. This is my personal experience, as has happened many times, and I'm not trying to make you believe this, just clarifying one of the reasons why I believe it works; the other reason being the recipients symptoms go away.

First, we did not say "normal temperature," Jake; we specifically said: "the natural transference of heat." That's natural as in not "supernatural." There is a key difference between what we actually said and what you reported us saying: a person's body temperature can be abnormal but still induced by natural phenomena, that is, phenomena that are well known and understood by modern medical science. As an example, read up on how drugs like ecstasy can effect human temperature regulation. In addition, you might want to read up on the human sense of thermoception — our sense of heat. If you do, you will learn that our assessment of "hot or cold" is a highly relative process; that is, your sense of how hot or cold another object is depends heavily on your own body temperature. We've sensed "great heat" when we've touched a child's cheek after he's been running around like a maniac — although his actual body temperature is only slightly higher than ours, human thermoception is very sensitive at or near the average body temperature of 98.6°F.

Regarding your comment that your belief in Reiki stems in part from your observation that the recipients' symptoms "go away" following a treatment, remember that we can say from personal experience that Reiki had no effect whatsoever on the pains we experienced before undergoing a "treatment" ourselves. None. You yourself say (which we'll get to in a moment) that we don't need to believe in Reiki for it to work. Well, guess what? We don't believe, and it didn't work. How does your Reiki belief account for that? We ask because we truly don't see how your belief, as you've stated it, can hang together given these facts.

As for the Schuman resonance idea, that was not what I wrote, but what other people had written based on their studies. I found it interesting, so I posted it. I also didn't say this was definite proof of Reiki being real, and they didn't say that the Shuman resonance field WAS Reiki, but they hypothesized that it was some sort of conduit. So besides their comments on the Shuman resonance field, what do you think about their comments on the biomagnetic field of the practitioner hands, etc.?

We certainly understood that the quote in your first comment wasn't your own words (despite your lack of citation, aside from a link to a page of pure nonsense on which they couldn't even spell "holistic" correctly). And what you said was:

Reiki and accupuncture make sense once you understand a little quantum physics, and the holographic nature of our (illusury) reality.

Clearly, you were making an argument that Reiki and acupuncture were not only genuine phenomena, but also that they were firmly grounded in the science of quantum physics. If there was honestly another way to read that initial comment, we don't see it.

We were also aware that the Schumann Resonance was not labeled "Reiki" in the material you quoted — that's why we said "magical happy Reiki field." Basically, you were saying that Reiki was scientifically viable, under the umbrella of the Schumann Resonance, which, according to your reference, is an electromagnetic field through which bioelectric energies could interact and which therefore allows for some hand-waving (both figuratively and literally) to shape the flow of these energies leading, somehow, to the magical healing of everything from headaches to cancer to phlebytis. What we were saying was that your understanding of the Schumann Resonance was severely flawed, and therefore your progression from that to the likelihood of Reiki being "real" holds no water. If you want to understand why, you need to read about the Schumann Resonance from somewhere that's not trying to use it to validate pseudoscience. Try it and you'll see what we're talking about.

Regarding the concept of biomagnetic fields in a Reiki practitioner's hands: yes, the human body produces a small amount of electricity, and yes, electricity is inextricably bound to magnetism as the electromagnetic force. However, none of this in any way leads to the idea that Reiki is feasible.

As far as my comment about the Holographic Universe, you immediately assumed I was referring to Talbot's book, which I have read parts of, but wasn't necessarily referring to him. I also apologize for saying it in a "factual" manner. With that said, prominent physicists such as Nobel laureate Gerard 't Hooft, Leonard Susskind, David Bohm, Karl Pribram, and Edgar Mitchell use this analogy to explain certain phenomena of the subatomic realm; such as the faster-than-light communication that occurs between subatomic particles, the so called spooky action at a distance, for example. Yes the holographic model is a hypothesis, and yes, I admit I like it because it leaves room for the "non-local" realms.

Yes, a version of the "holographic universe" scenario — that is entirely unrelated to Talbot's use of it to assert paranormal hypothesis — is occasionally invoked to explain actual quantum phenomena. However, you are mistaken if you think that such invocations naturally lead to non-locality on a macro level (that is, on the scale of our normal, everyday lives). By your logic, the fact that there is a quantum probability that subatomic particles could pass right through each other would suggest that there is a probability that human beings could pass right through each other. However, as you deal with larger and larger scales, quantum jitters become less and less important or effective, and by the time you reach even the smallest life form here on earth, quantum jitters are so tiny as to be entirely insignificant. Again, our advice is to read some of this material fully rather than just looking for something scientific that might support your belief in Reiki (which is what you basically said you did above).

About the injun scientist remark, I wasn't talking about indigenous quantum physicists, as that would be an oxymoron. Maybe I should have put a space between the two sentences. What I was trying to convey is that qualified scientists, such as the genius Mitchell, also have an interest in consciousness and spirituality, and folks like them are putting out theories that attempt to bridge the gap between the explicate and implicate orders, such as the holographic theory.

We never assumed you were hypothesizing indigenous quantum physicists, nor did we say so in our reply.

That said, what any particular scientist has an interest in is really of no importance, unless it is studied and tested using the scientific method, by a variety of scientists with no predilections for one outcome or another. For example, Einstein grew up studying the bible and the talmud — he found them to be very interesting literature — but this doesn't have anything to do with relativistic theories.

As for the indigenous peoples of the world (aborigines, Maya, native american), I was remarking about how they have an experiential understanding of "other realms", not so accessible to us more "civilized folk". And it is said (not as fact of course), that the Austrailian aborigines are able to communicate telepathically over long distances, telling the tribe what conditions lay ahead.

As we said above, why not talk to some less technologically advanced folks in the less developed regions of our world. Yes, they all have myths and superstitions, but that has comparitively little to do with how they live their lives on a daily basis. We described how they go about their lives by leaning constantly on the scientific method above (the same way that all people do, to some extent). Go back and re-read that part of our comment above to see what we mean.

As far as what "is said (not as fact of course)," that's exactly the kind of non-evidence we are talking about, which is the sole basis of every belief in every form of pseudoscience on the market today. If you want to elevate this anecdote to the status of evidence, get some Australian aborigines into labs on the opposite coasts of Australia, and test them to see if they have telepathy. Why just stick to "it is said" when the means of providing definitive evidence of such claims is readily available? For the record, we're willing to bet on the outcome of such tests. Are you?

I've always felt Reiki was easy to believe in since you don't need to believe it for it to work, and because of the byproducts of a session. Having said that, I was surprised people were putting it down so harshly so I felt the need to respond.

Again, you are saying that we don't have to believe in Reiki for it to work, and again we have to remind you that it didn't work for us. Given your assertion, it seems that it should have worked for us. Why didn't it?

As for James Randi, I haven't a clue as to how I would PERSONALY attempt to prove it scientifically; with what instruments? With what method (yeah, I know, the Scientific)? I never even new of this contest before I came to this site.

The good news, Jake, is that you don't need to design the test to prove that Reiki is real in order to accept Randi's challenge. All you have to do is clearly state what you think your "powers" are, and Randi's organization will come up with an appropriate and controlled test to see if your claims are true. It's that simple. All you have to do is contact them with a detailed explanation of your claims, and they will take it from there. If you're as sure of yourself as you claim, go for it. Seriously. You can find all of the information about the challenge on the JREF website. If you decide to submit your claims, please keep us posted.

So I apologize for my first post, where my comments came off as factual.

We accept your apology.

However, your comments and language are quite ridiculous, as in the amount of time you spend personally attacking my intelligence, vocabulary, character, and imagination; besides what I have already posted, you don't know anything about me, and visa-versa. I mean really, that's middle-school language, and no self-respecting scientist would use that of talk to another human being to prove their point. Maybe they would, but it's highly "uncivilized."

To be blunt, we care very little about what you think of our language. See, the problem is, Jake, we are constantly bombarded by folks who want to push their pet beliefs on us, or who get upset when we stomp on their pet bullshit. So, the reason we sounded so pissed off is because we are, quite frankly, sick of addressing the same points over and over and over again. As a result, we are not in the habit of pulling our punches, and we make no apologies for that decision. So if you come to our site claiming to have scientific validation of any form of pseudoscientific crap, and present the kinds of "evidence" that you presented, expect us to react as we did.

In fact, one of the all-too-common misconceptions that you are even now perpetuating is that scientists shouldn't get angry. We've heard more variations on this phrase than we can shake a dowsing rod at, and we still have no idea where the notion comes from. Sure, no self-respecting scientist would use "that kind of talk" in a scientific paper, but outside of that, it's important to realize that scientists are people. If they witness something infuriating, they get angry, and if they get angry, they may very well toss out some crude language. Don't believe us? Check out our list of "Usual Suspects" — there are plenty of self-respecting scientists on there, and they've got no problem getting angry and swearing when the occasion calls for it. In addition, you might want to read our Score entry on swearing. The bottom line is that sometimes such words drive our point home far better than any others. Anyone who doesn't like that approach is, of course, welcome to go elsewhere.

By the way I do appreciate your companies views on defending the rights of people to express their beliefs, so long as it doesn't take away other's rights to do the same. And the Daily Show does indeed rock.

Hey, of course we defend the right of every person to believe whatever they want to believe. As far as we're concerned, it's a free country, and we're all entitled to our own beliefs. Just as long as unfounded beliefs don't start infringing on our rights, we're happy to let them be. In fact, if someone told you that you couldn't believe in Reiki, we'd be among the most vocal supporters of your right to do so.



E!, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 08:33 [Link] »

you really are stooopid aren't you?!?

First, if it's so hard to deal with people with such obvious stupidity, how can you keep waking up in the morning without just sticking a fucking barrel into your mouth and ending your own misery?

Did you actually read anything i wrote you dumb-ass cock smoker?

Maybe you should take your fucking mission statement down. It's on your fucking HOME PAGE you idiot! If you want people to actually take you seriously, then you better stick to your own fucking beliefs.

Did I mention NCCAM once? your a fucking wanna be meat head mother fucker, go back and actually read what I wrote. I mentioned AND linked to the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH, DUH you blind, fucker.

In the SAME fucking biased, un-researched response you left to me, you say this:
"Because everything we write leans heavily on science, reason, logic, and common sense.

Does experiencing Reiki for ourselves first hand and personally witnessing that it had absolutely no fucking effect count?

what a fucking moron, you dumb fuck, you contraDICKED yourself.

We've done far more actual research into medical quackery than you've even seen on TV. Until you educate yourself at least to the level that we have educated ourselves on these topics, you really ought to keep your piehole shut.

Why don't you shut your fucking pie hole you little whiny bitch? You have NO idea of my level of medical education, and if you consider reading up on a website called "quackwatch" education, then maybe that is your first problem.

"if pseudoscientific quackery is your idea of something that's "not a joke," then we're happy to occupy the opposite end of that spectrum in your feeble little brain.

And where did I say that Reiki actually works you pick? Don't put words into my mouth.

I think your mission statement should change too "we speak 98% truth, but there is that small little 2% where we just act like pricks and speak out of our assholes.



E!, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 14:05 [Link] »

here's a little hint for you:

there is this wonderful new invention called "the internet"

on "the internet" there are these great little pages called "search engines"

go onto one of these "search engines" and type in:
"Stephen Barrett, M.D"

what appears next is information about the subject you typed in.

look through some of these pages about "Stephen Barrett, M.D"

You will learn that the creator of quackwatch.com (also the owner of some 20 other websites that involve the word "quackery") is:
1) He is not even a Medical Board Certified psychiatrist because he had failed the certification exam, and even though he touts himself as a medical expert, Barrett has not been a licensed physician since the early 1990s. This is a major revelation since Barrett has provided supposed expert testimony as a psychiatrist and had testified in numerous court cases. Barrett also had said that he was a legal expert even though he had no formal legal training. (conceded in court by Stephen Barrett during this Court Case: Stephen Barrett, M.D. vs. Tedd Koren)
2) Barrett had filed defamation lawsuits against almost 40 people across the country within the past few years and had not won one single one at trial.
3) Barrett also had to concede his ties to the AMA, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

There is more info if you actually care to do a bit of research, but for some reason, I highly doubt you'll take the time.

Like I said earlier, you calll you self "intelligent" but you get your info from a website run by this guy?

Come on!

I've read through several of your rants, and I agree with alot of what you post, but your method of attack just makes you appear to be totally ignorant.

I'll readd through whatever you have to say in response, but I don't think I'll bother to reply, you can have the last word, in the end it doesn't really matter anyways.

And I'll just appologize now for saying all the mean things in my last post.

Peace!
E



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 16:00 [Link] »

Just like in your last comment, E!, you have once again failed to make a single valid point. To be clear, we aren't saying that you've made some points that have not been valid, we're saying that you haven't even worked your way up to making an invalid point yet.

Did we read what you wrote? Yes, but from the moronic shit you continue to say, it doesn't look like you actually bothered to read it.

Basically, your most recent comment is a bitch session about Quackwatch and a rebuke to us for basing our Rant on information we got from that site. There are a few problems with that message. First, nowhere in our Rant above did we even mention Quackwatch. Not once. We counted. We provided a link to that site as a source of more information on quackery for one of our commenters, but our Rant in no way mentioned it. So what the fuck are you talking about? If you want to bitch about Dr. Barrett, why not go to his site to do that? Second, Quackwatch is a good source of information on medical quackery — no rumors that you can ramble on about will change that fact. So, if this most recent diatribe had a point, it was only in your mind.

In addition, we saw the smattering of negative search hits regarding Dr. Barrett (in there among all the positive ones), and we've read them. Gee, a bunch of quacks who are upset at someone who makes a habit of debunking their bullshit. Yes, that certainly is damning evidence, if you're a complete moron with no capacity for logical thought. One of the examples we saw involved a gentleman claiming that Barrett was involved in some form of extortion, an allegedly ongoing campaign of intimidation. This person claimed he was bringing legal action against Barrett — five years ago. No mention of Barrett being tried for or convicted of extortion in the last few years. Our guess is that Dr. Barrett probably has grounds for a serious defamation suit, if he's interested.

All in all, what you've proven yet again is nothing more than your own credulity.

Did you mention the NCCAM? Well, since the fucking NCCAM is the part of the NIH that researches complementary and alternative medicine, yes, you did. If you had a fucking clue, you would know that. We're the blind "fucker," are we?

Do we know anything about your level of medical knowledge? Yes, we do, based on what you wrote on our site. And, taking that into consideration, we feel very safe in saying that you don't know dick about science or medicine. We don't need a résumé to recognize a clueless asshat like you, E!. Don't like that assessment? Tough shit.

And we also noticed that you managed to completely ignore our question to you. For the sake of thoroughness, we'll repeat it. You told us:

It's been a whole year since your original post and you still haven't come up with any concrete evidence that proves that Reiki is just some "quako" healing technique.

Of course, it's a common mistake made by morons and "true believers" that the burden of proof rests on the critical thinkers to disprove the existence of wild-assed claims. We have argued, using words that may be bigger than you're comfortable reading, that it is impossible to disprove such claims. Since you disagree with us, we posed the following challenge to you:

We make the assertion that ass gnomes exist, and that they live in the assholes of some people. Presumably, this is an assertion that you believe to be a crock of shit (if we're wrong, and you do believe in the mysterious ass gnomes, then we know exactly what kind of credulous moron we're dealing with). So, prove us wrong. Go for it. Let us know when you're done, and what procedure you used. We'll be really interested in seeing your answer since it isn't fucking possible to completely disprove our statement. But since that's just bullshit, you should have no trouble proving us wrong. Go on — we're waiting.

In fact, we're still waiting. Like most blowhards who come here to tell us how "stooopid" we are, when it comes right down to it, you have failed to put your money where your mouth is. So, put up or shut up, asshole. If you're so fucking smart, take our challenge and prove us wrong. Our bet is that you'll never even acknowledge that it's out there. Hey, you haven't yet, and you've posted twice since we mentioned it.

All in all, we've had enough of your asinine bullshit. Most morons who come here at least have a stupid point to make. You appear to be lacking even that most basic of purposes. So if you're not going to take up our challenge, then go whine somewhere else. If you continue to do it here and if you continue to have no fucking point to your useless tirades, we will move your shit to our urinal where you can piss and moan all you want without annoying our intelligent readers. Now fuck off.



E!, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 16:53 [Link] »

We make the assertion that ass gnomes exist, and that they live in the assholes of some people. Presumably, this is an assertion that you believe to be a crock of shit (if we're wrong, and you do believe in the mysterious ass gnomes, then we know exactly what kind of credulous moron we're dealing with). So, prove us wrong. Go for it.

I think it's a crock of shit, but then again, you must have an ass gnome living up inside your buttocks since you claim they exist, so how could I ever prove your a lying piece of shit unless I looked up the 2 inch pvc piping thats sticking out of your ass crack? Can't.

In addition, we think it's high time that someone turned the spotlight on Reiki, starting with learning exactly what certification or credentials it takes to be a Reiki Master, and exposing the whole practice for the load of crap that it really is. We'll keep you updated right here in our Rants as our research progresses. To Be Continued...

Jeez, thanks for the update.

Hmm... well there goes logic and reason.

Lost to the internet on another losers blog.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 17:04 [Link] »

We don't think that you intended to prove our point as well as you did above, but thanks anyway. Your answer to our challenge is about what we expected. As we said, it isn't possible to completely disprove our assertion, just as it would not be possible to completely disprove any such assertion.

The sad part is that you don't even have the mental capacity to understand that you've proven our point for us. It's staggering, really.



interupt, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 19:30 [Link] »

Wow, you guys did stir up a hornets nest of uh...2 people.

;)

After ten years in clinical practice, this doesn't particularly surprise me that people, particularly medical establishments fall for the alternative medicine rubbish, reiki in particular. Considering I worked with a senior nurse who swore by reiki and ba'hai, only to rupture the discs in her back and become dependant upon pain killers...reiki did sod all. Wow who'duh thunk it?

Of course I have to politely disagree with you guys 2%. I like Aromatherapy, because it smells good and makes my house smell nicer. I like massage because it makes my muscles feel good, and does have toning effects to improve range of motion. I believe in pressure points, because I have been struck in various pressure points during years of martial arts. Can you manipulate them to heal? Not bloody likely.

I call it complimentary, not an alternative method to tried, tested and proper medicine. I have watched people die because they believe herbs can cure cancer. It makes food taste nice, not fucking destroy cancerous cells!!!...(oops went off the deep end a bit there)



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.19 (Mon) 19:55 [Link] »

interupt,

Yep, they come in waves. This just happened to be a small wave (thankfully).

You said:

I like Aromatherapy, because it smells good and makes my house smell nicer. I like massage because it makes my muscles feel good, and does have toning effects to improve range of motion. I believe in pressure points, because I have been struck in various pressure points during years of martial arts. Can you manipulate them to heal? Not bloody likely.

We're with you, 100% on the above. If people would just look at these things for what they are instead of assigning all sorts of magical-mystical medical benefits to them that don't really exist, we would have no problem at all.

Want to light a scented candle to make your house smell better? Rock on, we do that as well. But the instant that someone starts claiming that said candle is wafting the cure for cancer (or autism or phlebitis) into our nostrils, we start to see red. The same goes for every form of quackery we complain about (even reflexology is nice, if you're looking for a foot massage).

Now, Reiki on the other hand...we can't really see any benefit. It's no touch, so we can forget about the massage aspect. Basically, it's nothing but a big, fat placebo. What a waste of time and money.



EoR, 2005.12.20 (Tue) 06:28 [Link] »

I seem to have covered similar territory at my blog (hey, maybe I was just channelling you!) but I also let people know where they can download the special reiki-woo-symbols so they can herd that nasty evil bad juju energy away and live nice happy lives in la-la land free of the curse of logic.

interupt: but didn't the herbs cure the cancer? Took herbs. Died. Ergo cancer cured. Or am I missing something?



interupt, 2005.12.20 (Tue) 21:27 [Link] »

EoR: Well true in a morbid sense, that they removed themselves from the gene pool by believing a mixture of clary sage, basil and wintergreen will "destroy the evils."

Its just a damn shame they left their children or significant others behind because of it. Then you have the pastor at the deadbed reading the last rites and saying its "God's Will."

Nice blog by the way -clickety add to Firefox bookmarks -clickety-



S, 2006.02.20 (Mon) 10:30 [Link] »

I came across this discussion accidently and have just read the discussion between jake and the 2 percent company and have to say how can anyone take 2 percent seriously when they swear so much. They seem too hot-headed and ruled by their emotions to be carry out scientific experiments.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.02.20 (Mon) 22:30 [Link] »

If that's really all you got out of reading our comments, S, then we're quite certain you're the one with a fucking problem. Even Jake got more out of our replies to him than just "You said naughty words!"

As we've already addressed (above) precisely the same tripe you've just vomited onto this thread, we're not interested in rehashing why your comment is a load of shit. With all due respect — which is to say, none — just fuck off.



s, 2006.02.21 (Tue) 06:41 [Link] »

not even worth replying to



Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2006.02.21 (Tue) 09:48 [Link] »

And yet...you did reply.

Don't you see the incredibly hypocritical humor in that? Probably not — you seem like one of those people that can never tell that they are making an ass of themselves. We're laughing, though. Just wanted you to know.



Tim, 2006.03.22 (Wed) 15:07 [Link] »

Hello!
I'm looking into the study of Reiki, there does appear to be several sum ups of experiments around the place but not much to do with the actual experiments themselves. Does anyone know of any high grade (not sure what I mean by this, use your own interpretation) scientific experiments on Reiki that are available on the web? With results going either way? Some of the sum ups that I've read mention use of (distance) Reiki on plant growth which to me seems like a perfect opportunity for hard, simple scientific study. On a side note, voicing an opinion I do agree that it's hard to read through all the swearing in posts! But hey people get angry, I'm sure I'd do the same if I were wound up that much. Background wise for me I've done Reiki one and two but am as yet unconvinced it's anything but placebo, I know I feel there's something there but I'm a bit logically minded to buy into that without some proof. I subscribe to the view that we basically know fuck all about life (on a large scale) so I'm open-minded. I also think that in a way, if it works for (at least) some people it doesn't really matter if you can prove it or not, but from what I can gather your problem is more with people claiming that it can and has been proven? Anyway, if anyone knows any scientific studies on Reiki can you post 'em up? Or if anyone knows that there haven't been any, post that too!
Cheers,
Tim



The Chopper, 2006.04.03 (Mon) 20:12 [Link] »

I love your site and the Ass Gnome theory...I've seen someone waste away and die from breast cancer thinking the whole time that they were being healed by master reiki healers. It was the sadest thing I've ever had to witness and I'd like to give them a reiki karmatic energy bitch slap for what they did to her///You guys fucking rock!!! Keep it up two percent...

Best,
The Chopper



The Two Percent Company, 2006.05.12 (Fri) 15:28 [Link] »

Chopper — all we can say is that we're sorry that you had to experience something like that. We've never personally witnessed anyone ride their belief in bullshit into an early grave (though we've heard enough accounts, and we've seen harmful examples that haven't been actually fatal), but we can't stand these purveyors of bullshit. We can only imagine how pissed off at them you must be.

Tim — we aren't aware of any good studies of Reiki. The NCCAM tackles such subjects, but last we checked, they hadn't gotten around to Reiki yet. A word of advice on NCCAM studies (and any others) — be sure to thoroughly analyze the findings. We've seen a few NCCAM studies that claimed to have validated some form of bullshit, but when we've looked more closely, the shoddy controls, short supply of data, and caveats on the results put a lie to that claim. Good luck.



> I'm with crazy..., 2006.12.24 (Sun) 14:13 [Link] »

I just want to say Two Percent you made my day!
My mother inlaw has gone off the Reiki deep end.. She clams to see "spirits" " negative energy" and be able to heal animals and people.. she uses energy rocks and heals houses with some special reiki spray (smells like cheap body spray) and an eagle feather..

She's now a Reiki "Master" which mean she was dumb enough to pay someone so she can now get paid to "heal", it's funny how it always comes back to money?

She doesn't get along with me much now since she feels I haven't given her any proof Reiki doesn't exist.. I've been kind enough not to get into an arguement about it, plus I'm pretty sure you have to prove something works not make a crazy claim then require others to dissprove you?

Her claims of reality are the same as the guys above that it works on the people who go to her, she has super warm hands and that if it was fake why would hospitals be doing it..
Well lets see someone sits in a dark room with relaxing music and they feel less stressed wow it must be magic..
Her hands are hot... look at me I'm rubbing my hands togeather then touching you hmm I wonder why their hot..
Hospitals well thats all about money, either they are getting rent, kickbacks or publicity from the reiki people, I highly doubt they are doing it from the good of their hearts.

Keep up the good work guys and I'll keep smiling :).



Chance, 2007.02.05 (Mon) 01:56 [Link] »

This is Amazing!!!! i'm so glad i found this website! Reiki is a buncha shit and people who are way into it should blow their brains out!!!!



onemoment, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 12:42 [Link] »

For anyone who still thinks that esp, remote viewing, remote healing (such as specific forms of prayer), reiki (or other healing modalities), etc, is a bunch of ho-ha, I suggest you read Lynn McTaggart's "The Field," or her new book "The Intention Experiment."
There are many documented, scientifically validated experiments over the past few decades that have explicitly proven the effects of human intention on plants, bacteria, REG's (Random Event Generators), and other humans. Enough so, that there is no longer any doubt about the power of intention, and of certain healing technics, from certain individuals.
Now of course not every "healer" is authentic, far from it. Nor are every psychic or medium. That's why the "firewall" of skeptiscism is neccessary. But it does no good to throw the baby away with the bathwater.



Bronze Dog, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 14:46 [Link] »
There are many documented, scientifically validated experiments over the past few decades that have explicitly proven the effects of human intention on plants, bacteria, REG's (Random Event Generators), and other humans.

So, why can't they perform one in front of James Randi? Can you name one that we can review?

Enough so, that there is no longer any doubt about the power of intention, and of certain healing technics, from certain individuals.

Stop telling us and show us the data.

Now of course not every "healer" is authentic, far from it. Nor are every psychic or medium. That's why the "firewall" of skeptiscism is neccessary. But it does no good to throw the baby away with the bathwater.

Show me one real psychic. So far, they're all indistinguishable from fakes.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 14:47 [Link] »

For anyone who still thinks that the Grinch's heart didn't grow three sizes on the day that he saved Christmas, we suggest that you read Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. His heart growth is documented quite clearly in that book. And if something is written in a book, then it must be true, right? Double points for accuracy if the book is hardcover, which most of Dr. Seuss' books are.

There are many documented, scientifically validated experiments over the past few decades that have explicitly proven the effects of human intention on plants, bacteria, REG's (Random Event Generators), and other humans. Enough so, that there is no longer any doubt about the power of intention, and of certain healing technics, from certain individuals.

Hmmm...it's so very odd that we weren't aware of all of these studies that conclusively prove the paranormal. How is that possible? Oh! Right — it's possible because your assertion is bullshit. It's possible because there are no scientifically sound studies that prove a single one of these nonsensical concepts. We've seen a number of studies on each of these topics (with the exception of reiki which, as far as we know, hasn't been the subject of anything even pretending to be a serious study), and every study we've encountered that has claimed to prove one of these concepts has been extremely flawed in numerous ways. This isn't about skeptics being "dismissive" or "mean," onemoment, it's simply about the faulty testing procedures, illogical conclusions, and lack of independently and consistently repeatable observations or evidence. They've failed to make their cases; in some instances, they haven't even firmly established the case they were trying to make. That's just not how legitimate (read: "at all productive") scientific inquiry is conducted. We've discussed the flaws in Gary Schwartz's research into psychics, and Skeptico has touched on some of the various poorly-designed prayer studies. These are just examples; plenty of other skeptics have tackled the wide variety of other bullshit claims.

But hey, go on — prove us wrong. Since you were apparently very impressed by these books you read, pick one of these phenomena, and provide the details of one study that proves that the phenomenon you have chosen is, in fact, real. Since the evidence for each of these is so overwhelming — right? — our request should be incredibly simple.

In short, either provide some evidence to back up your fantastic claims, or stop making them. Referring to one of the hundreds (or is it thousands by now? millions?) of poorly-written and badly-researched books written in support of any brand of woo doesn't cut it — we're not wading through even more crap than we already have just on your say-so. Give us something solid, and then we might be inclined to examine your favorite materials. Until then, don't expect us to jump at the chance to read another ridiculous book full of more ridiculous claims that we've already encountered, discussed, examined, and dismissed a dozen times over.

Skeptics aren't throwing out the baby with the bathwater — in fact, we aren't even throwing out the bathwater. We're sifting through the bathwater and trying our best to extract all of the chunks of vomit and get rid of them, precisely so that we can keep the baby and clean the water. Skepticism is no "firewall" — it is a brilliantly programmed anti-virus application, created by design to sift through everything and pick out the bad from the good...the valid from the invalid.

So give us that one amazing study that will "wow" us, onemoment. We'll wait, but not very long. Our patience is wearing thin with this silliness.



Bronze Dog, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 15:21 [Link] »
We'll wait, but not very long. Our patience is wearing thin with this silliness.

I originally read "silliness" as "stillness." Still fitting: If you look over all the paranormal "studies" out there, a consistent theme emerges: Zero progress, just the illusion of progress, despite the claims being around for millennia.



onemoment, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 16:43 [Link] »

The Intention Experiment
Lynn Mctaggart
pp 47-48

"[Elizabeth] Targ began her career as a mainstream psychiatrist, but made her name in 1999 with two remarkable studies at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, which tested the possibility of remote healing with end-stage AIDS patients. Targ spent months designing her trial. She and her partner, psychologist and retired hospital administrator Fred Sicher, sought out a homogeneous group of advanced AIDS patients with the same degree of illness, including the same T-cell counts and number of AIDS-defining illnesses. Because they wished to test the effect of distant healing, and not any partcular healing modality, they decided to recruit highly experienced, successful healers from diverse backgrounds who might represent an array of approaches.
Targ and Sicher Gathered together an eclectic mix of healers from all across America - from orthodox Christians to Native American shamans - and asked them to send healing thoughts to a group of AIDS patients under strict double-blind conditions. All healing was to be done remotely so that nothing, such as the presence of a healer or healng touch, could confound the results. Targ created a strict double-blind format: Each healer received sealed packets with information about the patients to be healed including their names, photos, and T-cell counts. Every other week the healers were assigned a new patient and asked to hold an intention for the health and well-being of the patient an hour a day for six days, with alternate weeks off for rest. In this manner, eventually every patient in the healing group would be sent healing by every healer in turn.
At the end of the first study, although 40% of the control population died, all ten of the patients in the treatment group were not only alive but far healthier in every regard.
Targ and Sicher repeated the study, but this time doubled the size of their study population and tightened ther protocol even further. They also widened their brief of the outcomes they planned to measure. In the second study, those sent healing were again far healthier on every parameter tested: significantly fewer AIDS-defining illnesses, improved T-cell levels, fewer hospitalizations, fewer visits to the doctor, fewer new illnesses, less severity of disease, and better psychological well-being. The differences were decisive; for instance, the treatment group had six times fewer AIDS-defining illnesses and four times fewer hospitalizations at the end of the study than the controls. (^2) "

pp 48-49

"For the Love Study, Targ found a sympathetic parner in Marilyn Schlitz, vice president of research and education at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). The energetic blond had a colorful national reputation because of her meticulously designed parapsychology studies and their spectacular results, which attracted the attention of the senior powers in consciousness research as well as the New York Times. During a long partnership with psychologist William Braud, Schlitz had conducted rigorous research into what became known in the psychic comminity as DMILS-Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems - the ability of human thought to influence the living world around it. (^3) Throughout her career in parapsychology, Schlitz had been fascinated by remote influence; she was one of the first to examine the effect of intention in healing, and went on to assemble a vast database of healing research for IONS.
For the Love Study, Schlitz recruited Dean Radin, her IONS senieor researcher and one of America's most renowned parapsychologists. Radin was to design both the study and some of its equipment; with his back-ground in engineering and psychology he would ensure that both the study protocol and its technical detail were rigorous. Targ enlisted Jerome Stone, a nurse and practicing Buddhist who had worked with her on the AIDS studies, to design the program and and train the patients.
In 2002, after Targ died, Schliz and the others vowed to carry on with the study and recruited Ellen Livine, one of Targ's colleagues from the California Pacific Medical Center, to take her place and work with Stone as joint principal investigators.
The Love Study was to follow the basic study design of a perennial favorite among consciousness researchers: the sense of being stared at. (^4)....
Schlitz and Braud's body of evidence on remote staring, conducted over 10 years, showed exactly such an effect. All the studies had been combined into a review that was published in a major psychology journal. The review concluded that the effects had been small but significant. (^5)

^2. F. Sicher, E. Targ et al., "A randomised double-blind study of the effect of distant healing in a population with advanced AIDS: report of a small scale study," Western Journal of Medicine, 1998; 168(6): 356-63; also multiple interviews with E. Targ, 1999-2001

^3. M. Schlitz and W. Braud, "Distant intentionality and healing: assessing the evidence," Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 1997; 3(6): 62-73

^4. M. Schlitz and S. La Berge, "autonomic detection of remote observation: two conceptual replications," in D.J. Bierman, ed., Proceedings of Presented Papers, 37th Annual Parapsychological Association Convention, Amsterdam (Fairhaven, Ma: Parapsychological Association, 1994):352-60

^5. S. Schmidt, et al., "Distant intentionality and the feeling of being stared at: Two metaanalyses, British Journal of Psychology, 2004; 95: 235-47, as reported in D. Radin, Entangled minds (New York: Paraview Pocket Boods, 2006), 135.



TimmyAnn, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 18:13 [Link] »

Ooh, this should be good! I am eagerly awaiting the replies to this one!



Rockstar Ryan, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 18:55 [Link] »

Any links to the actual studies? Not just the author's summaries?

I can write a book and say whatever I want. I don't see any original research there, just her opinion of studies that may have happened, so you mind providing access to the data?



interupt, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 06:48 [Link] »

I know Im going to be accused of being low here, but a cursory search of Elizabeth Targ brought up something interesting.

Obituary

Almost 150 people gathered at the Hayfields in Portola Valley on July 25 to mourn the passing of Dr. Elizabeth Targ, a leading researcher in the field of mind/body medicine, who died July 18 of a brain tumor at age 40.
Dr. Targ had just received funding from the National Institutes of Health for a study intended to teach distant healing and prayer to nurses and other health professionals. The study would have examined the efficacy of prayer on patients with a rare form of brain cancer, the same kind that killed her.

Awful way to die in 2002, but really begs the question....

Anyway. Onto the links

sought out a homogeneous group of advanced AIDS patients with the same degree of illness, including the same T-cell counts and number of AIDS-defining illnesses.

How many in this group?


Link

In July 1995, back when AIDS was still a death sentence, psychiatrist Elisabeth Targ and her co-researchers enrolled 20 patients with advanced AIDS in a randomized, double-blind pilot study at the UC San Francisco Medical Center. All patients received standard care, but psychic healers prayed for the 10 in the treatment group. The healers lived an average of 1,500 miles away from the patients. None of the patients knew which group they had been randomly assigned to, and thus whether they were being prayed for. During the six-month study, four of the patients died - a typical mortality rate. When the data was unblinded, the researchers learned that the four who had died were in the control group.

Fuck me 20 patients with Advanced AIDS in the 90s, is now called a blind study. I would be ecstatic that these people survived AT THE END OF THE TRIAL! Followup? continuity of treatment? No hang on, the trial ended and the money was gone the psychic healers stopped praying and guess what...they died. Some days its hard being a skeptic with such blinding evidence.

Anyway

Targ and Sicher repeated the study, but this time doubled the size of their study population and tightened ther protocol even further. They also widened their brief of the outcomes they planned to measure. In the second study, those sent healing were again far healthier on every parameter tested: significantly fewer AIDS-defining illnesses, improved T-cell levels, fewer hospitalizations, fewer visits to the doctor, fewer new illnesses, less severity of disease, and better psychological well-being. The differences were decisive; for instance, the treatment group had six times fewer AIDS-defining illnesses and four times fewer hospitalizations at the end of the study than the controls. (^2) "

Excellent we are up to 40...I think.


Link


A lot of studies had investigated the effect of prayer on healing, but they were methodologically sloppy and their findings couldn't be replicated. In July 1996, Targ began a confirmation study, one with a larger sample and a more exacting protocol. It is widely acknowledged as the most scientifically rigorous attempt ever to discover if prayer can heal.

Fantastic. This does look promising.

By this time, triple-drug therapy for those with AIDS had begun, and quite miraculously AIDS patients stopped dying. So rather than just measuring mortality, the replication trial also tallied the occurrence of 23 AIDS-related illnesses that appeared during the six months of the study, from ulcers to encephalitis.

Forty patients were recruited. They filled out questionnaires, had photos taken, and signed consent forms that indicated they had a 50/50 chance of being prayed for by faraway psychic healers. They were free to pray for themselves and have family and friends pray for them as well - the trial design assumed everyone would get a "baseline" amount of prayer from loved ones. Their blood was drawn, and a computer matched them to a statistical twin - a counterpart with a similar CD4+ level, age, and number of previous AIDS-related complications. The computer randomly assigned one of each pair to a control group and the other to a treatment group.

The photos of those in the treatment group were sent to 40 healing practitioners, ranging from rabbis to Native American medicine men to bioenergetic psychics. These healers performed their rituals one hour a day for six consecutive days. Each week for 10 weeks they rotated, so each test-group patient received distant healing from 10 practitioners. The healers kept logs and were not paid. They never met the subjects in person.

The trial does look good.

By this time, triple-drug therapy for those with AIDS had begun, and quite miraculously AIDS patients stopped dying.

Pfft..this doesn't mean anything.

So rather than just measuring mortality, the replication trial also tallied the occurrence of 23 AIDS-related illnesses that appeared during the six months of the study, from ulcers to encephalitis.

Forty patients were recruited. They filled out questionnaires, had photos taken, and signed consent forms that indicated they had a 50/50 chance of being prayed for by faraway psychic healers. They were free to pray for themselves and have family and friends pray for them as well - the trial design assumed everyone would get a "baseline" amount of prayer from loved ones. Their blood was drawn, and a computer matched them to a statistical twin - a counterpart with a similar CD4+ level, age, and number of previous AIDS-related complications. The computer randomly assigned one of each pair to a control group and the other to a treatment group.

The photos of those in the treatment group were sent to 40 healing practitioners, ranging from rabbis to Native American medicine men to bioenergetic psychics. These healers performed their rituals one hour a day for six consecutive days. Each week for 10 weeks they rotated, so each test-group patient received distant healing from 10 practitioners. The healers kept logs and were not paid. They never met the subjects in person.

And?

The research results showed that the subjects who were not prayed for spent 600 percent more days in the hospital. They contracted 300 percent as many AIDS-related illnesses.

Sorry 2%er time to shut down the website...oh uh! hang on.

Here's the somewhat less-sensational way of framing the results: The control group spent a total of 68 days in the hospital receiving treatment for 35 AIDS-related illnesses. The treatment group spent only 10 days in the hospital for a mere 13 illnesses.

Well still pretty impressive for a thorough clinical trial right?

There was no placebo effect. For the patients, being less sick didn't correlate with believing they were being prayed for by the psychic healers. Not even close. Nearly 55 percent of both groups imagined or guessed or believed they were being prayed for - and they did no better than the others.

Goddamit!

But she was a respected researcher and had recieved a huge grant from an organisation. They wouldnt have been so stupid right?

In 2000, she applied to the National Institutes of Health's Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine for $1.5 million to cover two 150-patient trials - one on brain cancer, and another confirmation study on AIDS. The NIH had never granted money to study distant healing. But people with brain cancer were dying, and nothing seemed to work. Her grant was approved.

Crap!

No wait....WESTERN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE. Worldwide respected publication. They would have checked the whole thing out. Its not like the study was skewed or they would have found out right?

That her study had been unblinded and then "reblinded" to scour for data that confirmed the thesis - and the Western Journal of Medicine did not know this fact when it decided to publish.

...

Her famous study was not, as its reputation suggests, designed to measure the number of AIDS-related illnesses. Targ and Fred Sicher had targeted their study to measure mortality but were caught off-guard by triple-drug anti-retroviral therapy, which became common practice one month into the six-month trial. When biostatistician Dan Moore broke the randomization code to unblind the data, it told them nothing - since only one patient had died, the data was meaningless.

Moore brought Targ and Sicher into his office and showed him the data on his computer. Moore thought this new triple-drug therapy was nothing short of a medical miracle, the triumph of science. It was saving lives! But Targ and Sicher didn't want to see it that way. Targ asked him to crunch the numbers on the secondary scores - one a measure of HIV physical symptoms, the other a measure of quality of life. These came out inconclusive; the treatment group didn't score better than the control. Not what they wanted to find. In dismay, Targ called her father. He calmed her down, told her to keep looking. She had Moore run the mood state scores. These came out worse - the treatment group was in more psychological stress than the control group. Same for CD4+ counts. Targ flew down to Santa Fe to attend a conference at a Buddhist retreat run by her godmother. When she called back to Moore's office, Sicher answered. Moore was crunching the last data they had, hospital stays and doctor visits. "Looks like we have statistical significance!" Moore announced. Sicher told Targ, who turned and yelled out to her friends and the conference.

Bingo.

Later that week, Moore met with an AIDS physician at California Pacific Medical Center. This doctor thought distant healing was bogus but agreed to give advice. He remarked that the length of hospital stays wasn't very meaningful. Patients with health insurance tend to stay in hospitals longer than uninsured ones. He pointed Moore to an important AIDS paper that had been recently published. It defined the 23 illnesses associated with AIDS. He told Moore they ought to have been measuring the occurrence of these illnesses all along. Moore took this list to Targ and Sicher. There was only one problem. They hadn't collected this data.

They gathered the medical charts and gave them to their assistant to black out the names of the patients. This done, Targ and Sicher began poring over the charts again, noting the data they hadn't previously collected. Since Sicher had interviewed many of these patients (up to three times), Moore worried Sicher could recognize them just by the dates they came to the hospital and what they were treated for. Sicher admitted he could (there were only 40). He had also seen which group each patient was assigned to, treatment or control, but he swore he didn't remember and maintained he was therefore impartial. (Sicher remembers this differently. He insists he couldn't recognize the patients from their charts and never knew which group each was in.) Targ told her boyfriend she was worried about Sicher's impartiality, but she took him at his word, even though Sicher was an ardent believer in distant healing, by his own frequent admission. He had put up the money himself for the pilot study ($7,500), had paid for the blood tests. He had a vested interest in the outcome.

This isn't what science means by double-blind. The data may all be legitimate, but it's not good form. Statisticians call this the sharpshooter's fallacy - spraying bullets randomly, then drawing a target circle around a cluster. When Targ and Sicher wrote the paper that made her famous, they let the reader assume that all along their study had been designed to measure the 23 AIDS-related illnesses - even though they're careful never to say so. They never mentioned that this was the last in a long list of endpoints they looked at, or that it was data collected after an unblinding.


The other links and studies in the original material were from Targs and Shclitz's own studies. The links I provided were pretty interesting, though the downhill slide to her death was awful for her, and I wouldn't wish this on anybody.




Lauren, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 09:40 [Link] »

2% You guys are so funny. I always enjoy reading your responses to people who make asses of themselves. When you guys get all sciency (yes I know thats not a word.. shows ya how smart I am) I get bored and dont read more than I understand. Most of the time it's the same old bullshit anyway. But I do always read your responses to people. By the way the Dr. Suess Grinch thing was hillarious.
As far as Reiki I have never even heard of it until today. Seems to me... it's along the same lines as the psychics... If you believe it's working then it's working...? I read that it's not supposed to be that way but I cant see any other way around it... Maybe my brain just isnt that advanced. But wouldnt that be awesome if you could mend a broken arm with it?
By the way 2 things that really piss me off about people bitching about... well you guys bitching...
1. I hate it when they mention books for the exact reason stated a few posts above. I read Sylvia Browns book and was in awe.. (then I found out the truth about that ho-bag when I stumbled on this site... on my fathers 3rd yr anniversary of his death.. cosmic)
2. The cussing... People need to get the fuck over it. People cuss. If they dont like it they can close the page and pour rubbing alcohol in their eyes and eat a dick. You guys cuss all the time and I think you are incredibly intelligent.
After all cusswords are just sentence enhancers.



Lauren, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 09:43 [Link] »

Oh and it's ironically tragic about Elisabeth Targ.
I cant wait to see the fun that stirs up.



Tom Foss, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 12:02 [Link] »
[Elizabeth] Targ
Incidentally, Elizabeth's dad is parapsychologist Russell Targ, who with his partner Hal Puthoff worked at the Stanford Research Institute, which conducted many biased and poorly controlled tests into Remote Viewing, psychic ability, and Uri Geller, concluding the positive in all cases.

They get repeatedly and systematically ripped apart throughout James Randi's Flim-Flam.



Rockstar, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 15:22 [Link] »

By the way, onemoment -

Do you just accept the author's opinion on those studies or did you see them yourself? I'm just wondering, because if you believe anything anyone will tell you I'd like you to know:

I am Jesus. Send me 50 bucks and you'll go to heaven.



TimmyAnn, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 15:41 [Link] »

No, Rockstar, you are not Jesus and I should know since I am His mother. If you send me onemoment's $50 and another $50 as a penance for making that false claim, I will tell me son to let you into Heaven.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 20:19 [Link] »

Oh, Rockstar, you're just being silly! And interupt, you just fell right into the obvious trap! onemoment is just...um...wait...hold on, here...

You're...you're serious, aren't you, onemoment? Holy crap. You really thought your book report fulfilled our request! Whoa. Trippy.

Now, a moment, everybody — if you read only one paragraph, read this one. We're going to start this comment off by giving you all a peek behind the curtain, because we don't want our initial challenges to onemoment to be misconstrued by those who have little time to read our full comment. To summarize what we've written below: onemoment's assertions are absolute bullshit, and the sources cited to "back them up" don't even come close to proving any paranormal claims. In fact, as we know — since we actually read the referenced material, instead of McTaggart's re-telling of it — the sources make it quite clear that our assertions are correct and that onemoment's are not. We'll explain below why this is the case, and we'll give you the opportunity to look into these sources yourself by providing links to track them down (which, naturally, onemoment failed to do).

It's abundantly clear to us that onemoment never bothered to look past the book he was reading to examine the actual sources being cited. Instead, he chose to swallow the author's statements without any critical thought on his part. We would have thought that our Dr. Seuss analogy was enough to convey the message that it isn't prudent to believe everything you read — apparently not. Because in addition to being flawed, the studies mentioned by onemoment contain language by the authors themselves in which they effectively flat out admit that they did not prove anything. Thanks, onemoment, for showing us once again the levels of rockheaded stupidity we are dealing with when it comes to true believers.

Now, let's close the curtain, turn on our snarky giant floating Oz head, and address onemoment with all the certainty that comes with, you know, actually doing the research.

— • —

Hey, onemoment! We're going to get all literary on your ass, and open with a quotation attributed to Mark Twain — one that seems particularly relevant to your comments:

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

Sadly, the things that you think "you know for sure" are absolute bullshit. And they just got you into trouble, in that, at the very least, they've demonstrated what an obtuse jackass you are.

Here's a question: have you actually bothered to look at any of these studies you've referenced? Or did you just read the book written to support woo (by an "investigative journalist" who wrote another book apparently regurgitating Talbot's "holographic universe," and another warning against "blind faith" in those, you know, actual medical experts who really do conduct legitimate and productive tests) and say "Yup! Good enough for me!"? We're pretty darn sure that the answer is quite firmly the latter. You just read your books and blindly nodded at everything the author told you. And yet you expect us to go out and research each of these studies, which you can't be bothered to do. As it turns out — how unfortunate for you! — we did research your sources, and they don't even come close to proving your points. In fact, they prove ours. Just one more reason not to blindly cite research that you've never bothered to look at, asshole.

For the record, we asked you to provide the details of one study that you had examined ("examined" does not mean "read a book that talks about it") that proved the existence of one of these phenomena. Do you think you've actually done so? No, don't answer that — we're sickeningly sure that you're confident, though utterly incorrect, that you have.

Off the tops of our heads, we came up with a variety of questions that your brief, cut-and-pasted term paper raises, and this took us about fifteen seconds.

What was the sample size for the control group? We understand that 40% of them died, but we have no idea what the total is; and the quantity that 40% represents could be extremely close to the expected odds if the control group was similar in size to the treatment group, stated as a ridiculously insignificant 10 patients...or not quite as close numerically if the control group numbered several hundred (which we doubt, given the diminutive size of the treatment group). The experiment was repeated, and these people "doubled the size of their study population and tightened their protocol even further." Again, no specific numbers. And: "tightened" their protocol? Considering what McTaggart (through you) has provided so far, this seems like a ninety-pound adult male going to the last notch on his size 54 leather belt. Where were these AIDS patients found? Were they all in developed countries where they had access to advanced medical treatment? Was their medical treatment suspended for the duration of the "experiment" in order to eliminate other possible sources of change to their conditions? That seems unlikely, despite being warranted under the "strict double-blind conditions" claimed; suspending treatment for AIDS patients is pretty much a fucking death sentence...unless you send some happy thoughts their way, right? Oops — sucks to be in the control group. Hell, there's not even any mention that the medical treatment across the two groups was standardized in any way. For all we know, and as is probably the case, some of the participants may have received extensive medical treatments, while others may have received none. Do you think something like that might possibly (maybe? Perhaps?) have had some kind of impact on the patients' mortality rate and overall health?

We have here a statement that says the prayer group had "significantly fewer AIDS-defining illnesses, improved T-cell levels, fewer hospitilizations, fewer visits to the doctor, fewer new illnesses, less severity of disease, and better psychological well-being." And these differences are called "decisive" — well, damn, that's all the proof we needed. Oh, wait...how about some fucking data? Not "descriptions," some actual fucking data. Is there any real data presented in this brilliant work of science from Lynne McTaggart? If there is, then why did you provide this fucking inconclusive and unsupported tripe? Why not provide some quotations and the corresponding data from the referenced studies in your bibliography instead?

We don't think you've "looked into" any real studies at all — probably ever. Instead, you have quoted a book at us without any effort on your part, and oh-so-cleverly included the bibliography. Do you blindly believe everything you read? We would have thought that our Dr. Seuss shtick would have punched up just how silly that approach can be.

We barely feel any need to address your second "study," (which isn't a study at all, by the way) which includes a mention of Dean fucking Radin "designing" the protocols — are you fucking kidding? This is your "evidence"? Try doing some more reading on Radin, from sources that aren't kissing his ass. We also get such "detailed" data as "the ability of human thought to influence [huh? Could this be more vague?] the living world around it," "a review that was published in a major psychology journal [yes, apparently the British Journal of Psychology...maybe you should have provided us with that instead of this silliness]," and "Schlitz and Braud's body of evidence on remote staring, conducted over 10 years, showed exactly such an effect." Showed exactly what effect? Perhaps — and we're actually willing to bet this one's true — McTaggart's book actually does explain what "effect" they were attempting to demonstrate, but your own use of an ellipsis, which seems to have omitted exactly that information, demonstrates quite clearly that you have no fucking clue what we're asking for. Fuck, that one's not even McTaggart's fault — you fucked it up (just like you fucked up the spelling of her first name — and here we thought you had a thing for her). Don't feel too bad, though — we're sure McTaggart's "data" would also be lacking.

You have provided no details of any of these studies. It is exceedingly easy to refer to how "impressive" these studies are, but until you dig deeper, do the research, learn the details, find the statistics, crunch the numbers, apply actual medical (or otherwise expertly established) knowledge to them, and actually analyze them, you are simply uninformed. The problem here is that people like you read books that make fantastic claims and refer vaguely to studies that back up their positions, and you think that somehow this is "scientific." It isn't. It's anecdotal bullshit without hard data backing it up. Until you understand that, you won't understand why you're so fucking wrong.

Now, all of our queries above were examples of questions that any intelligent person with a grasp of the scientific method would have broached about the studies you referenced. The fact that these questions apparently didn't occur to you tells us volumes about your intelligence and your lack of understanding of actual scientific research. So in the spirit of showing you a little about what actual research is like, we managed to locate three of the sources you made reference to in your "bibliography" (and a partial summary of the fourth source). Here are the links to what we found:

^2. F. Sicher, E. Targ et al., "A randomised double-blind study of the effect of distant healing in a population with advanced AIDS: report of a small scale study," Western Journal of Medicine, 1998; 168(6): 356-63; also multiple interviews with E. Targ, 1999-2001

^3. M. Schlitz and W. Braud, "Distant intentionality and healing: assessing the evidence," Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 1997; 3(6): 62-73

^4. M. Schlitz and S. La Berge, "autonomic detection of remote observation: two conceptual replications," in D.J. Bierman, ed., Proceedings of Presented Papers, 37th Annual Parapsychological Association Convention, Amsterdam (Fairhaven, Ma: Parapsychological Association, 1994):352-60

^5. S. Schmidt, et al., "Distant intentionality and the feeling of being stared at: Two metaanalyses, British Journal of Psychology, 2004; 95: 235-47, as reported in D. Radin, Entangled minds (New York: Paraview Pocket Boods, 2006), 135.

[Links added by us, of course, not the person who blindly believed that they proved his points.]

As interupt noted, only the first source is an actual study — the other three are merely articles discussing studies, which are no more definitive than the book being quoted in the first place. In addition, the main thrust of the articles is the study in the first source. So essentially, if we can show that the study in the first source does not prove your claims, then you have provided us with absolutely no proof of your claims, your ignorant confidence notwithstanding. And demonstrating the lack of supportive evidence in the actual study is precisely what we intend to do. As far as we're concerned, interupt nailed many of the problems with this extraordinarily flawed study, but we do have some points to add.

We only had time to do a cursory analysis of the sources you've provided. Luckily, that's all it took to see that they offered no proof of the paranormal whatsoever. Of course, our readers are welcome to pick up the ball and run with it, if they so desire. The comment from interupt above is an excellent example of actual critique of such studies (and no, when it comes to scientific research and reasoned debate, "critical" does not simply mean "dismissive," onemoment).

Let's look at the first source — remember, this is the only one that is itself actually a published study. This astonishing paper (you can go directly to the PDF, if you like) begins with a note from Linda Hawes Clever, editor of the Western Journal of Medicine at the time of publication. The note says, in part:

Does the paper prove that prayer [referring to all of the forms of distant healing] works? No. The authors call for more research, as do we and the reviewers, for a number of reasons. We note that the study was relatively short and analysed rather few patients. No treatment-related mechanisms for the effects were posited. The statistical methods can be criticized.

So right from the very beginning of the first source, it dawns on any observant reader that the definitive proof you're grasping for, onemoment, is not to be found in the sources you have cited. Add to that the fact that the researchers lied in order to get their study published in the first place — by unblinding the study, searching for patterns, then erroneously claiming that they re-blinded it, all the while never mentioning this to the journal — and we see that these are not only poor scientists, but also unethical ones. Yes, our confidence in your sources leaps like gazelle, bwana.

The details don't get any better from here. As we suspected, and as interupt noted above, the "control" group in the first "experiment" was identical in number to the treatment group: ten patients. So a mortality rate of 40% means that four out of ten died. First off, no reasonable person would claim that this sample is statistically significant in any way — the very notion that it is constitutes a terribly unfunny joke. In addition, over time — tragically — AIDS patients are pretty much expected to die (with our current limited capacity for AIDS treatment). Study this control group a bit longer, and the mortality rate would be 5 out of 10...then 6 out of 10, and so on. Are we to think that these people are dying because no one is praying for them? Fuck, no. They're dying because they have AIDS, for fuck's sake.

You can look at it even more carefully, though: it was really a whole group of 20 patients, and 20% of them died. Over six months, when it comes to AIDS...that seems pretty fucking typical, if not low. It doesn't matter which ones you were praying for. The fact that the four who died weren't prayed for (and were intercessory prayers from friends and loved ones "controlled" in the study?) means very, very little — since the study was not repeated over and over again. The revealed numbers also indicate that the second study (the one they claim was actually "valid") was only 40 patients wide — 20 control, 20 treatment. But even at these, er, "inflated" numbers, the sample size is still pitiful, and therefore the results are utterly meaningless. Fuck, the people who conducted the test flat-out admitted that these sample sizes were lacking — read the fucking paper! We don't mean to be sticklers for proper scientific research, but fucking try some proper scientific research, and you might see the difference between it and these studies.

Of course, after helpfully pointing out that there were other factors that could easily explain the four deaths in the first study (like the fact that those patients were older), the study authors themselves state that:

Additionally, an important intervening medical factor changed the endpoint in the study design. The pilot study was conducted before the introduction of "triple-drug therapy" (simultaneous use of a protease inhibitor and at least two antiretroviral drugs), which has been shown to have a significant effect on mortality.

The study that McTaggart concentrates on — with only 10 control and 10 treatment patients — was the pilot study, admitted by the authors to be inconclusive and perhaps even faulty. Their feeling that more was to be learned (based on what they apparently gleaned from the pilot study) urged them to move on to a second study...the one that McTaggart (in your brief excerpt, at least) barely even touches upon.

And just how lax were the controls on these studies?

Both groups continued to receive standard medical care at their primary care sites.

Which means that any number of factors could have influenced mortality rates. Nothing was controlled, and the study is simply bullshit. (The authors admit as much themselves — at least, they admit that there were a lot of "variables" involved.) And as we suspected before even reading the entire study, all of the patients were from the same location — the San Francisco Bay Area — with excellent access to modern medical facilities. The authors want to paint the deaths of 40% of the 10 control patients as shockingly high, when the reality is that the deaths of 20% of the 20 total patients was perhaps pretty low...and this simply reflects the fact that they were all receiving actual medical attention throughout the course of the study!

Would we want to take AIDS patients off their real treatments just for a laughable study of "distant healing"? Of course not. As we said above, that's a fucking death sentence. But therefore, any ethical study isn't really controlling the circumstances, because you can't control how individual biological systems react to different medical treatments. Point blank: there was no control. It's utter bullshit.

As a note: in the second study — the one with the amazingly giant and really, really conclusive sample size of 40 patients — only one patient died (right before the end of the six-month study). That patient was in the control group, yes — but such numbers are ridiculously insignificant from a statistical standpoint, to say the least.

How about the "healers" in this incredibly well-designed study? Well, the eligibility requirements were stated as follows:

...minimum 5 years regular ongoing healing practice, previous healing experience at a distance with at least 10 patients, and previous healing experience with AIDS.

Uh huh. Nice, tight protocols there. Your case for conclusive evidence of the existence of paranormal phenomena is about as solid as fog, onemoment.

The study's authors deliver their conclusion in the "Discussion" section of their paper, and this lays it out quite simply: the study is simply impossible to refer to as "conclusive," despite the authors' own feelings that it was. They outright admit that any baseline medical or treatment differences (which they can't rule out) would totally skew the results. They claim that their data refutes that idea (or, as they put it, doesn't "support" it), but we've read the paper — it doesn't refute that idea. Additionally, they mention some potentially problematic statistical variables such as the distribution of minorities (who all just happened to be in the control group — nice selection protocols, dimwits) and smokers (who were only in the control group at first, but then a couple of treatment patients started smoking during the study — we probably would have too, if we were putting up with this crap while trying to deal with a life-threatening disease). The placebo effect is also mentioned (and then summarily yet unjustifiably dismissed) as a possible factor in the treatment group's psychological and physical well-being.

The authors then state that:

Existing medical understanding offers no mechanism to account for a finding of healing at a distance; however, science does not require a known mechanism to prove the existence of a phenomenon.

Nor do we require a mechanism right out of the starting gate — but we do require that you demonstrate that something is actually fucking happening. And after you've demonstrated that — or, better yet, when you think you've got a good idea that it is happening — why not start looking into the possible mechanisms? What's the point of ignoring the mechanism in your study of any phenomenon, with the totally wuss-out excuse that "science doesn't require one"? Fine, yes, you don't need a mechanism to prove incidence, but you do need a mechanism to construct an actual fucking useful theory. These people list some possible mechanisms, but then admit: "Such concepts are, of course, highly speculative and remain an area for future research." Well, then, fucking research them. Seriously, that's all we're fucking asking — tighten the protocols, acquire a statistically significant sample size, eliminate external and "wild card" variables, and conduct some real research.

The paper closes by saying that the study needs to be replicated. Yeah, no shit. (Then again, if it weren't for that pesky requirement of repeatable results in scientific study, we'd have desktop cold fusion by now as well. Damn you, scientific method!) We might even suggest — call us kooky, if you like — that the replicated studies should be conducted by other independent researchers, with larger sample sizes, proper protocols, and actual controls. Are you finding our repetition monotonous yet, onemoment? Because we sure find claims like yours, and "evidence" like yours, terribly monotonous by this point.

There's a lot more that could be said about this laughably inaccurate, falsely advertised, and admittedly inconclusive study, but given our time constraints, and the fact that you couldn't be bothered to follow our simple instructions, we've pretty successfully used some broad strokes to show that your assertions are based on nothing but hot air and horseshit. As we said above, our readers are welcome to dig deeper — thanks to interupt for taking us up on that proactively.

In keeping with the spirit of this response, we'll close with one more quotation attributed to Mark Twain:

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Next time, onemoment, try to remember that. If we ever had any doubt to begin with, we are now left with no doubt that you are a fool.



interupt, 2007.02.28 (Wed) 20:59 [Link] »
And interupt, you just fell right into the obvious trap!

awww....but the trap had a cupcake in it.



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.01 (Thu) 10:59 [Link] »

That was frikkin' beautiful.

And just because, here's something that's frikkin' amazing, brought to us by real science, critical thinking, and the letter "F."



Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2007.03.28 (Wed) 11:38 [Link] »

interupt — sorry about the cupcake. That was a low blow.

BD — that is pretty fucking cool! Thanks!

Oddly, we don't see any further comments from onemoment. I suppose it's far too much to hope that he/she/it took that second Twain quote to heart and is, in fact, keeping his/her/its piehole shut from now on. But I can dream, can't I?



jack, 2007.09.27 (Thu) 10:19 [Link] »

So Reiki level 4 can perform "healing at a distance." How nice. At level 5 do they just skip all the "formalities" and simply place their hands directly on the "patient's" wallet?

And why is it nearly always women who fall for this Reiki nonsense?



Mark, 2007.11.03 (Sat) 23:11 [Link] »

Wow, this discussion has been going on since 05! I just stumbled on it today. One of my close friends told me she recently got Reiki, and I responded asking her, "What the fuck is Reiki?"

She explained to me that it's some channeling of energy for healing. My immediate gut reaction was, "that shit is bullshit" and she got mad at me.

This prompted me to look into this Reiki further. I've stumbled on this forum and my ultimate conclusion is that Reiki is bullshit. I'm an open-minded person, even studied Buddhism and other Eastern religions. This Reiki is unique in comparison with other types of Eastern Philosophies. It's like a mix of mystic religions warped in a Western fashion. It's bullshit. Even if one were to assume that everything is all connected energy, how can one assume that they are single "hand"edly able to distort this energy and furthermore, claim that this supposed disrtuption of magnetic fields can cause healing, and without any concrete evidence, aside from supposed reports that "it really works" which is attributed to the placebo effect. Sorry, there is no quick cure for anything. Just another scam to get people to pay money by exploiting people's hopes that there is a quick, cheap way to heal one's self and it really is just another fad.

Acupuncture on the other hand, I think has some factual basis. I could see how causing pain would cause relief. It's like when you cut yourself and it feels good. Like when you cry you feel better afterward. When you go through a tough situation and feel better for overcoming it. This is what acupuncture, I'm guessing, would be like. I'll admit I've never done it (never had the need) but it seems more factual than this Raeki bullshit!

By the way, the word Reiki is not even in the spell checker for this page. Funny, because that's what this discussion is about. So that doesn't say much! It can't be that "ancient" if it's not even included in the spell checker. This post is getting ancient though.

Thanks!



The Two Percent Company, 2007.11.04 (Sun) 13:57 [Link] »

Yep, Reiki is a little different from most other forms of quackery. As you noted, Mark, most bullshit medicine involves at least some form of actual interaction with the body — whether it's sticking needles in the skin, or smelling plant extracts, or getting a foot rub. Reiki stands out by not interacting with the "patient" at all. We are constantly amazed by anyone who actually believes that a little hand waving could possibly cure anything. (Of course, these people also believe that a little "hand waving" explains anything, so there you have it.)

But be careful — just because a form of quackery does involve physical interaction doesn't necessarily make it any more valid. You say:

Acupuncture on the other hand, I think has some factual basis. I could see how causing pain would cause relief. It's like when you cut yourself and it feels good.

While your statement has some validity, it's a bit of a red herring. Acupuncture, as it is defined, has nothing whatseover to do with releasing endorphins by inflicting pain to combat some other pain (which is a documented way to relieve pain in the short term). Rather than sublimation, acupuncture is outright claimed to be based on the same "mysterious" energies that Reiki is based on. Take a look at this excerpt from the Skeptic's Dictionary entry on acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique for unblocking chi (ch'i or qi) by inserting needles at particular points on the body to balance the opposing forces of yin and yang. Chi is an energy that allegedly permeates all things. It is believed to flow through the body along 14 main pathways called meridians. When yin and yang are in harmony, chi flows freely within the body and a person is healthy. When a person is sick, diseased, or injured, there is an obstruction of chi along one of the meridians.

So your argument against Reiki should apply equally to acupuncture.

That said, we think we know what you were getting at. Regardless of how acupuncture is supposed to work, it is possible that, through completely different (and medically accurate) means, it does have some ability to relieve pain. That assertion is still up for debate — the available studies simply don't make a compelling case at this point. But if acupuncture does work for some types of pain relief, it certainly has nothing to do with chi, or meridians, or yin and yang (as we think you'll agree).

But it's important to note that, if chi is bullshit (and it certainly is), then so is acupuncture. If the effects that are realized as a result of acupuncture are more accurately just about the release of endorphins, serotonin, and other chemicals and hormones, then we can toss aside the whole practice of "acupuncture," and instead study what's really going on when we stick needles in somebody's skin. If it's only about the release of chemicals, then the specific acupuncture points seem to be meaningless, as are the needles themselves.

A quote from the same page of the Skeptic's Dictionary sums it up quite well:

Scientists suggest the needles stimulate release of endorphins. Jalapeno peppers do the same thing. So it wouldn't matter where you stick the needles would it? Then who needs an acupuncturist? --Bob Park

Who, indeed? When we strip away all the hokey bullshit, what we're left with is simple, actual science. And there's nothing scientific — or factual — about acupuncture.



Andrea Waddell, 2007.11.08 (Thu) 17:40 [Link] »

hi two percent,

I love this site. I love your passion. I too have joinded the worldwide movement to end all forms of quackery. Big hopes, small first steps...

due to my contacting my localk trading standards in Brighton, UK, they have agreed that the local (council-funded) lesiure centre should not be making nonsense pseudo-scientific claims about what reflexology does to cure diseases, harmonise hormones at the time of a woman's period, alleviate the pain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / Repetitive Strain Injury, and similar bullshit. (Obviosuly I believe relfexology is nothing more than a foot-rub, but it seems there's nothing to stop reflexologists making quack claims in quack language, as long as they steer clear of science)



Lance in Redondo, 2009.06.07 (Sun) 13:26 [Link] »

No, no, no. Ya'll don't get it, do you?

Reiki gets me laid.

It's like oysters and aphrodisia. If you can get a girl to swallow one, she'll swallow anything. And if I'm a self-proclaimed Reiki Master (and...a registered nurse, so I REALLY have some stroke with my disciples...) the chicks all fall in line to have me align them.

I'll bet ya' want stories now, huh? Maybe I'll teach a class.




Ryan Michael Whitmore, 2009.06.10 (Wed) 18:13 [Link] »
Reiki gets me laid.

That reminds me of True Lies:

Simon: I have to lie to women to get laid. I got a little dick, it's pathetic and if I ever saw a gun I'd...Ugh! Ugh! Look at that! Would a spy pee himself?

I know there are shits out there that make up bullshit to get laid. I'm just glad I'm not one of them.

(I know you're comment was tongue-in-cheek.)

P.S - I'm blogging again...for now...



Nic, 2009.09.11 (Fri) 00:21 [Link] »

I came across this reiki crap quite by accident. I have a possibly permanent illness and my mum is making me try everything, ugh! Anyway I was told to have a massage and see if that made me feel better. Much to my surprise I was introduced to reiki once the massage started. Shit, now I have to go back there every two weeks to get healed or aligned or whatever the fuck it is.
Here's my experience. She did get overly warm hands... like everyone who massages, durr. They got overly hot because of the lack of ointment, which needless to say felt awful. Plus I was freezing my arse off, so a normal temperature would have felt warm to me. Next she did the purely reiki bit, with the hands and she started to "cleanse my body" or whatever and she started burping, a lot. She said it was the bad energy coming out or something.... what the hell?! I should mention this was a private session in her house, she doesn't do it in public places.
Oh I suppose I should tell you if it worked... I still feel like shit only now I have a pain in the neck where she did something wrong. But hey, over all the massage part wasn't too bad. I'll keep going just to shut mum up, after all it's her money she's wasting. That and once she figures out it's not working she'll find something more expensive and stupid to waste my time with anyway.



Bronze Dog, 2009.09.11 (Fri) 21:08 [Link] »

Wow. Good luck hanging in there, Nic. You have my sympathies for having to go through with all that on top of the reason you're being forced to go along with it.

If you spot something fishy, don't hesitate to call the FDA or whoever. Lot of places like that will occasionally dip into more dangerous forms of crazy, as well as many overt false claims and try to cover them up with disclaimers.



Bal, 2010.05.03 (Mon) 09:22 [Link] »

My, my, that's quite a debate you people got going here. Well, I'm no scientist, nor a spiritualist, just an ordinarily islander, and where I come from Reiki isn't a 'healing' therapy, or some miracle-worker. Reiki is simply a Zen practice, that brings about a well being by instilling peace. Nothing magical about it, I guess if one can simply sit and let go, the mind will be calm, and ya, that does have a healing effect on the body. But I wonder how Reiki came to be such a big deal in the West, I guess it's just a bunch of people trying to make money by teaching you how to breathe, or sit silently. Zen, Reiki only teaches you to be ordinary, not extraordinary, and the well-being is simply a by-product of your simplicity. Call it a psychological treatment, or rather psychosomatic if you may. And ya, those stories you may hear about the origins of Reiki, or the History of the Masters, those are also not real, they are allegories to render a simple thing more fantastic that it actually is. But bottomline, Reiki does work, it brings peace and well-being, but i won't say it really heals. Now well-being and peace can have healing effects, but that's purely psychosomatic. Well, I may be wrong, I am not a smart person and my knowledge is very limited, I just know that here we practice Reiki and it's nothing close to what you people in the West are doing.



The Two Percent Company, 2010.05.03 (Mon) 22:27 [Link] »

In one sense, that's been the whole point of a lot of what we write on our site, Bal, and we agree with you.

In another sense, it's a hell of a dodge, and doesn't quite line up with reality.

We've frequently referenced the obvious resemblance to acupuncture that Reiki exhibits: either one is an "ancient" practice from the East, imported to the West, used by all sorts of fruit-looped fucks who think they're doing something impressive with their lives, and resting on a foundation of gobbledy-gook mumbo-jumbo that maintains only a passing acquaintance with reality, and that only to bum rides to the airport once every couple of years.

There's a big gaping hole in what you're saying, though, and it lies in "who has it right" — or, put simply, a No True Scotsman fallacy.

To be clear, we're not slamming you for presenting a different understanding of Reiki, claiming a strong belief in it, and asserting that it's the "real" Reiki — it's simply that we've no way of establishing how correct you may be.

Look at acupuncture. Some quite scientific folks — medical folks that we know quite personally, even — insist that the practice of sticking needles anywhere in the skin can certainly have an effect on pain (through a method of sublimation). Others insist that passing electricity through those needles will have a specific positive effect on the subject's health.

Yet the oldest and most "authoritative" texts on acupuncture — in the sense that those illustrated guides to the Star Wars universe are authoritative — quite plainly spell out that the needles must be inserted in key locations (contradicting that first group above), that there is no electricity involved (contradicting the second group), and that the effects work by channeling "qi" (contradicting at least the first group, and possibly both). The practice itself originated in China; therefore, the definition of the practice itself should perhaps adhere to the definition provided by its originators (the acupuncturists of historical China).

We're not saying that the pain sublimation provided by sticking needles in a person isn't necessarily effective (though we're not thoroughly convinced), and we're not saying that the electricity passed through those needles wouldn't have an effect (though we're pretty damn convinced it's not the one advertised); we're simply saying that those aren't acupuncture. They're something that gullible dicks in Western civilization bought into and labeled "acupuncture."

By the same token, we're certainly prepared to believe you that the "Reiki" practiced by those in the States isn't even remotely related to the "Reiki" practiced by the original practitioners. But then we're being asked to ignore the modern bullshit and focus on the "original" practice that you describe, and we fall back to Square One: with acupuncture, we simply haven't seen any evidence of the existence of "qi," which is the basis of the entire practice; with your definition of Reiki, we're not sure why there needs to be a particular "practice" of sitting still and shutting up. When we feel like doing that, we just do it. And neither our state of mind nor our physical well-being are going to be affected by that the same way every time — if we were in a bad mood at the start, we may or may not be at the end; if we were in bad health at the start, we may or may not be (with real health problems, we're betting "not") at the end — which renders it as non-science, and quite divorced from any debate we might have here.

So, really, what's the point? It's the same old non-starter. If we created a comic book starring a superhero who dresses up in dark clothing, wears a cape, fights crime, has a general bat motif for all of his accoutrements, calls himself "Batman," and flies...it's all well and good for you to say "Wait, you're wrong, Batman doesn't fly!" — in a sense, you're right. But that doesn't suddenly make Bob Kane's "Batman" any more real than it already is (which is to say: not at all). Some people will continue to be entertained by the Kane Batman, some people will be entertained by our flying Batman, some people won't really get into either, and some might think both have their advantages; but an actual man dressed as a bat — whether he can fly or not — will not suddenly be fighting crime on the rooftops of any city you might name in the real world.

It is, perhaps, quite telling that the purveyors of acupuncture and Reiki don't have the same recourse available to them that Bob Kane (or DC) would: suing the imitators. It's a pretty solid message that, legally, neither acupuncture nor Reiki are considered to have any value as intellectual property. With no offense intended, Bal, we think that meshes quite nicely with our own take: intellectually speaking, both concepts have a value of zero.

Batman, though, is pretty cool.

As is Flying Batman.



donna, 2010.05.13 (Thu) 08:28 [Link] »

What works for some may not work for others. The choice of traditional treatments and/or alternative treatments should be left up to the individual.

What is more offensive than anything is the foul language, and the arrogant and ignorant attitude of the employees who have created this site for "grand standing".

The 2 percent company employees would all benefit society at large by seeking some medical assistance by a "traditional" mental health practioner!



The Two Percent Company, 2010.05.13 (Thu) 13:29 [Link] »

Of course it should be left up to the individual, donna. Our site is all about making sure people are allowed to do whatever they want to do (as long as they don't trample on anyone else's right to do the same thing). If you can find one place where we've ever said that people should be barred from doing stupid things — like using alternative medicine to cure anything — then we'll eat your pussy dry and call you Dusty. (It's an alternative treatment. Good for what ails ya.)

What we do here is all about helping people to make an informed decision precisely so that they can do whatever they want to do, but armed with the facts. You seem to want them to blindly stumble through life, assuming that choice A is always as valid as choice B, and that just isn't so. This isn't fucking "chocolate or vanilla," here, you pathetic slime.

What works for some may not work for others.

And? What's your point? Because you seem to be missing the vital fact that alternative treatments don't work for anyone. Subjective opinion on the matter is irrelevant. We're all for people making their own choice, but no matter what choice you make, we all live in the same reality, and that's simply not subjective. As the old joke goes: what do you call alternative medicine that works? It's called medicine, you simpleton.

Before testing, no potential medical treatment is "alternative" or "traditional." After testing, the stuff that actually works is adopted by, you know, actual physicians and scientifically-minded folks, and the stuff that just fucking doesn't is adopted by assholes with an agenda and the gullible (not necessarily the same set, though there's plenty of overlap). Since the assholes and the credulous don't want to be made fun of (fat chance), they continue to call it "medicine" — but since they know they can get in trouble for calling it real medicine, they call it "alternative medicine." Wow, that's clever. If you think that's going to stop us from calling it out as the complete bullshit it is, you really don't understand how people who give a shit about reality operate. You can hand us a platter of veggies and dip and call it an "alternative automobile," but you won't see us racing down the highway on it.

If, after seeing what an utter failure "alternative medicine" has been whenever it is placed under scientific scrutiny, someone still wants to waste time, money, and health on it, we have no problem respecting that person's right to make a bad choice — and, make no mistake, it's a really bad choice (especially if the treatment of other people, like their children, is involved). As a corollary, though, it really chafes our ball sacks to be made to pay our money into insurance plans that allow others to engage in practices that amount to no more than fantasy roleplaying ("I'm a third-level Reiki master!" — "Try this Arnica Montana, it's +4 against...well, everything!").

But that's a Rant for another day.

We're arrogant? Sure, you could call it that, from your point of view, and we won't argue. We're ignorant? Not even fucking remotely, you smarmy pissant. Yeah, you've clearly done the research, and you clearly don't feel any form of smug superiority here. (Sensing sarcasm? We're throwing it at you full-bore.) The difference, of course, is that we've earned our attitude, you fucking self-righteous bitch. Do the fucking research, and come back here with more than a fucking pansy-ass "what works for some may not work for others, and you guys swear a lot," and then maybe you'll have anything of value to add.

As to your remarks about our language — well, shit, feel free to go fuck yourself, you puritanical prude. You don't like "foul language"? Fuck you, and eat a dick. If you're interested in how we've answered cockheaded asshats like you making comments like this before, you can read a whole Rant dedicated to the subject. Make another comment that amounts to little more than "you guys say bad words," and that's where it'll end up.

Rebuttal, O Master of Pure Substanceless Drivel?



donna, 2010.05.13 (Thu) 17:32 [Link] »

[Since the totality of donna's most recent comment is "Eek, more swears!", and since it's apparent that she isn't interested in actually reading anything before she comments (like the refutations we provided for her original, weak assertions), we've moved her to our Profanity Rant. Her original comment appears there. No, donna, ignorance is not bliss — the Management.]



Ryan W., 2010.05.18 (Tue) 12:27 [Link] »

People like donna here really, really need to stop that stupid straw man argument that anyone is telling them they can't treat what ails them any way they want.

Donna, if you want to cure your backaches by covering yourself in green jell-o and chanting a mantra to Gozer, by all means do so.

The problem is (as the Two Percenters indicated) that morons who hold the opinion you espouse are sometimes responsible for the health care treatment of those who are unable to make the choice, such as children and the elderly.

If you want to cure your cold with blood letting, that's fine. But forcing others to accept treatment that is complete bullshit is criminal.



Lance, 2010.05.26 (Wed) 17:05 [Link] »

I mean...I come here to address my necrophilia wants and needs, and I have to sit and read through the "Donna" files.

Have you people no compassion?

Hey Donna...do you have creamy, pasty white flesh, slowly turning gray? Can you send me pictures?



Jun, 2010.06.10 (Thu) 11:24 [Link] »

Hello, I just came across your posts here on Reiki.

I live in Japan down the road from a Reiki healing centre which was established by the founder of Reiki. Open minded and accepting of the beliefs of others I've been to the centre three times to discuss Reiki and have Reiki treatment.

From my discussions with the masters and from my experience in Reiki healing over a four month period I can tell you now that Reiki is a A LOAD OF FUCKING BULLSHIT.

It is a placebo, wishful thinking, snake oil.



Tom, 2010.06.12 (Sat) 01:54 [Link] »

'Would we want to take AIDS patients off their real treatments just for a laughable study of "distant healing"? Of course not'

I've read through all the comments and found this one most amusing.

For the last four hours I've been reading through the articles here. I'm most hungry and feel somehow drained of my 'precious bodily fluids'. Still, I must comment!

I find it difficult to argue against believers because they have too much pride to ever admit, even if proven wrong, that they are wrong. Perhaps it's more the time invested in such faith or the grim reality of a world lacking.

My mother, a teacher, has due to her age or possibly through complications later in life started to dismiss religion... something which she forced onto me as a child. I'm proud of her. She's finally questioning something that has gone unquestioned for generations in our family. I do remember her claiming to have seen angels on her bed. She probably had food poisoning.

What people fail to understand is the ramifications of their beliefs. They may feel like they're not doing any harm by spreading this bullshit, but they are influencing weak minds. It's not their fault they are stupid. Religion could almost be accepted as a victimless crime (I'm trying to be flexible there.. ignore wars, oh god ignore all their aftermath), but when it comes to health, LEAVE THE GULLIBLE THE FUCKS ALONE!

I didn't read in full 2%'s last post but the bit about it being role-playing is true. It's like those that claim to have a 'black belt', which means FUCK all in real combat, but they wear and promote that shit as if it enhanced their masculinity (importance). It's role-playing that can have detrimental consequences.
Sure, it would be alright if all people were bright enough to make informed decisions and not rely upon any one type of therapy, on the word of some pot smoking douche. People unfortunately are generally naive, lost and similar to sheep. They require the good shepherd. The few fucktards that come here trying to justify their earnings should feel ashamed, and indeed do for why else would they come here but to try and convince the critics that they are just, that somehow, what they know deep down is bullshit, happens to actually work and that they can now lift their shoulders once again.

My GF spoke yesterday of how Scientology was far less credible than Christianity, and that anyone that would believe in such is out with the pixies, 'I mean, the founder of their religion is a science fiction writer'. I argued that all religions are fabricated, by man, for the masses and that the only difference between Scientology and Christianity is the time established as a religion. The idea of resurrections etc are just as invalid as the concept of Thetans. How is this relevant to Reiki? Isn't Dianetics tapping into the same line of bullshit?

Don't these practitioners of Reiki realise that they are as worthless as all the other quacks? 'Oh, but I see the positive effects of my work each and every day'... People that believe in shit WANT IT TO WORK. They don't want their belief system to crumble, most are so attached they'd rather die. The power of a positive mind can only go so far though, and that is when such witch doctors really cross the line, profiting off of the eventual death of some naive fool.

I'd kill all of these quacks if I could. Now, I really need to eat.

Thanks for keeping the fight.

I like Mulder's 'I want to believe' attitude. His mind is open but can never find the proof, no matter how hard he tries.



Tom, 2010.06.20 (Sun) 13:04 [Link] »

Luke 8:46
"Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me."

Jesus = Super Reiki Master
+Can heal from distance
+Can heal via saliva
+Can raise dead
+Can kill fig tree



Anonymous Reiki Master, 2010.07.25 (Sun) 04:49 [Link] »

English is my 3rd language so first I will apologize for my grammar beforehand as I know is sucks most of the time.

Reiki? I can confirm that it is a bunch of bullshit. How can I do that? well that is easy after having stubbornly and seriously for 4 years, believed in it (and a lot of other new age stuff, like healing crystals and angels and what not), being a "Reiki master" and worked with it... I have given many many distance healing sessions, though I have to say that I did all this for free! while having real job. I seriously believed in it and wanted to make the world a better place :O
So of course I was a quack, I just didn't know it which I think many of these Reiki healers are like.
The worst thing is that most(all) "patients" actually give positive feedback which just strengthens the belief of morons like me. Of course after these 4 years looking back, never was there any real results of the "healing" despite all the funny feelings that the "patients" had.

I believed in just about everything of the new age dogma and am just grateful that I lived in the "role-playing game" for "only" 4 years.

What made me change? well I started to read real science and saw how amazing the real world actually is. Richard Dawkins was properly also a help.

Now I am back to being a atheist and skeptic.I am very happy to finally live in reality.

And just to say it again... Reiki is BULLSHIT! and so is any other religion and new age dogma!



louis pettit, 2010.09.10 (Fri) 12:24 [Link] »

Hello!

I am a Reiki practicioner. Reki really does work. Learn HOW to do it, and then try for yourselves! There are plenty of good books out there!

However, if you aren't willing to do the research and find out how effective this treatment really is then I would say you're just one sided and closed minded. Which is fine! Rock and roll. Do your thing.

Just figured I'd cruise through and let you all know how ignorant you sound to the enlightened lunatic fringe.

Peace and love, you knuckleheads.



The Two Percent Company, 2010.09.10 (Fri) 14:32 [Link] »

Dearest Dipshit,

You are a smug idiot of monumental proportions, with a complete lack of reading comprehension. (There's that recurring theme of arrogant ignorance again, eh?)

Do you know how many times we've heard the same bullshit from morons about their particular, special brand of crap?

"But Allison DuBois is the real thing!"

"How can you say that about EVP — it's totally real!"

"No, seriously, an Anarcho-Libertarian society would be l33t!"

"Oh, I'm a follower of Reiki, and it really does work!"

Blah, blah, blah. Baseless, unsupported assertions won't win you dick here, louis. It's pretty fucking easy to say anything you want to say. The trick is backing it up with evidence and logical thinking — two concepts that seem to be totally foreign to you.

However, if you aren't willing to do the research...

We have thoroughly answered your incorrect and asinine assumption regarding our direct experience with and knowledge of Reiki far too many times to bother doing so again. The answers are in this very thread, which you clearly felt no need to read before jumping in to defend your intellectually indefensible position. If you'd actually like an answer, simply scroll up.

But we suspect you're not interested in an answer; rather, you are only interested in flinging excrement about the place like an ignorant monkey (nothing against monkeys, as we're specifically referring to the ignorant monkeys out there, and not all monkeys in general).

Of course your behavior is typical of the "enlightened" lunatic fringe, so it's nothing new. You jumped right in here without bothering to look at the information readily available here just like you jumped right into Reiki without bothering to look at the information readily available there.

To wit: the information here explicitly states that we've dealt with Reiki first-hand and seen first-hand, for ourselves, that it is complete bullshit. The fact-based information generally available on Reiki, on the other hand, explicitly states that it is complete bullshit. Convenient how that dovetails so nicely, huh? As it turns out, when you base your opinions and beliefs on reality rather than fanciful bullshit, you tend to match up with reality quite often. Not that you'd have much experience with that.

But hey, rock on, moron. Just figured we'd respond and let you know how completely fucking idiotic you sound to anybody with a fully functioning brain. Enjoy deluding yourself into thinking that your live-action fantasy roleplaying has any bearing on reality. Putz.



shiroijin, 2010.09.15 (Wed) 21:23 [Link] »

I'm very glad I found this site!! I came here from an eskeptic comment link about what is the proper way to debate as a skeptic (Further Thoughts on the Ethics of Skepticism - Daniel Loxton). I was firmly on the "just be nice" side until I came here. NOW I understand what the power of dickishness looks like. I love it!! I now understand what I didn't before....people are really stupid and it takes a Herculean effort not to punch them in the face. I've never had to debate (I use that term loosely) anyone like you guys have had to. Either I'm lucky to have reasonable friends or I've just not met these kind of people. Either way, I've realized just how 'nice' I would be if I ran into any of them - so much for my self-deluded easy-going nature.

The other reason I feel compelled to post is that I have my own experience with Reiki. I was living in Vancouver and needed to get a massage certificate of any kind for this job I was doing. We tried to find the easiest, cheapest and least time-consuming class we could. Enter Reiki. It was 4 Saturdays for a total of 8 hours and we could become Level 3 masters!! How exciting! This was in 1995 and even though I was a lot younger, it's always been in me to question pretty much everything (yes, I know, my poor parents). We had NO idea what this was but we didn't care....we needed something (don't judge, it's a long story). I went in with an open mind but after all was said and done, I couldn't help but think this was a crock of shit. Everything people here (the sane ones) have written about it is accurate but what really stuck with me was a comment the 'teacher' made on the last day : A guy said that he tried the techniques on his girlfriend's headache but it hadn't helped her. Looking back the 'teacher' should have said "You're not doing it right" but instead she said something that confirmed for me that I was not "unenlightened" or not giving it a chance: She said one of the fundamental aspects of Reiki we need to know and to make sure our clients know, is that when you use your energy to help heal, it might not go where you want it to. The body knows where the energy is needed most and will go there first. All I could think is "You've got to be shitting me?! That's got to be the best scam ever!" So just to clarify (and make the 'teacher' have to repeat it to see if she could do it with a straight face) I said "So you're saying if the client doesn't feel better after the session, we just tell them that the energy went to a more important area - like, say, early stages of cancer?" She beamed when she said that I was really understanding this whole process and that I was in line to raise myself to a higher level (then held me up a model of what the other students should try to attain!!!)

Whew! Longer than I thought but I had to put my two cents in. All I Know is that I am grateful I have an inquisitive mind (thanks Dad) or I'm sure I would have fallen for a lot more than I have. Keep up the GREAT work and thanks for helping change my attitude about always being nice to stupid people.



Laura Stanfield, 2010.10.22 (Fri) 06:19 [Link] »

Wow. What a load of BS. Energy has been proven to exist and you just cannot stand it can you? You must really hate it and the people who practice it otherwise you wouldn't have gone to all the trouble to discredit it on this forum. Sad indeed. Even when the evidence is provided, it STILL isn't accepted. Laughable.



Bill Brown, 2010.10.22 (Fri) 10:46 [Link] »

In the context of physical sciences, several forms of energy have been defined. These include:

Thermal energy, thermal energy in transit is called heat
Chemical energy
Electrical energy
Radiant energy, the energy of electromagnetic radiation
Nuclear energy
Magnetic energy
Elastic energy
Sound Energy
Mechanical energy

These energies may be divided into two main groups; kinetic energy and potential energy. Other familiar types of energy are a varying mix of both potential and kinetic energy. Energy may be transformed between these forms.

The above list of the known possible forms of energy is not necessarily compete. Whenever physical scientists discover that a certain phenomenon appears to violate the law of energy conservation, new forms may be added, as is the case with dark energy, a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe.

My question to Laura S. is What kind of energy are you refering to?



The Two Percent Company, 2010.10.22 (Fri) 12:35 [Link] »

Energy has been proven to exist? Yeah, as Bill points out: all kinds of "energy," that lovely, vague word that morons and bullshit artists like to improperly toss about to make it sound like they have any fucking clue. Throw in a few "resonances" and "vibrations" and maybe a "quantum" or three, and you'll sound really impressive, Lauren Stanfield, B.S. (we figured that was your degree — in exactly the sense you used it.)

Energy exists. Yes. So what the fuck does that have to do with Reiki, you fucking simpleton?

You say:

Even when the evidence is provided, it STILL isn't accepted.

Oh, how strange — we must have been absent the day they handed out the evidence for Reiki. So do us a favor — provide the evidence. Since it obviously exists, it would surely be a simple task for you to just pass it along to us. So go on and set us straight. Show us the evidence for Reiki's efficacy and causative mechanism, and put us in our place.

Or, alternately, you could fuck off, and thereby add your name to the growing list of fuckwits who make fabulous, magical claims, and then utterly fail to back them up.

Your choice.

Ignorant, arrogant asshole.



Tom, 2010.10.22 (Fri) 20:12 [Link] »

"Energy has been proven to exist"

??????????????? Well done! I mean, WOW. The existence of God has also been totally proven through the Bible. Energy exists!? Wow. Why are you mucking around with Reiki when you clearly have the potential to be a leading scientist



Ken, 2010.11.29 (Mon) 07:47 [Link] »

Dear Two Percent Company,

Been a while (I posted a few times on one of the Allison rants, although I don't recall which one -- sorry to see you closed them down). Glad to see you're still around, and still in impeccable form. *grins* Love the way you put it to folks as are too...er..."simple"...to recognize common sense when it hits 'em like a runaway tractor plowing through the broadside of a barn.

Loved the MT quote above! Excellent. Reminded me of another, though, that I thought would be worth your time:

"Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't."

Now, my mentioning this isn't to say that I support those who, howsoever well-intended, use their misguided beliefs to foist their particular brand of snake oil off on the gullible and innocent. Far from it. Nor is it meant to encourage those reprehensible enough to try to use this quote as a possible justification for continuing their predations.

For the record, I have experienced this "reiki" that is spoken of here, and found it...

...Completely ineffective.

I should qualify this. I am one of those quirky individuals that is very sensitive to electrical, magnetic and radiant energies (thank you, Mr. Brown, for listing those for us!). There was a point in my life when I couldn't even wear an electrical timepiece! (What a drag...).

My point here is that if there were actually something to this practice of reiki (not to be confused with the Zen practice mentioned earlier), then I would have felt at least something when I undertook to experience it --

-- Especially when one considers that our physical processes are said to run on chemically induced electrical energy (I know that this explanation is lacking...I can only apologize for my ignorance of specific scientific terminologies -- alas!) --

-- Then I would have felt something, damn it!

But -- nothing. And no "improvement" in my general well-being, either.

I'm mentioning the quote here because I couldn't find the relevant Rant (you folks have a HUGE site!), and the *expletive deleted* spammers have compelled you to shut down your Contact Us link.

(It isn't that I do not swear, nor not use profane language when appropriate, nor disapprove of its use. It is simply that I cannot find a term that is sufficiently descriptive for use when speaking of such unmentionables. I feel soiled even mentioning them...!)

*ahem*

I felt this second quote from Mr. Twain went quite nicely with his quote you sited above:

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

Mark Twain knew Nikola Tesla. Check out a photo of him in Tesla's lab here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

*chuckles* The point to all this, is that Mr. Twain knew what he was talking about when he came up with these two literary gems. To the best of my knowledge, they're still trying to figure out some of what the "mad scientist" Nikola Tesla was going on about!

Meaning that Mr. Twain may have been shown by Mr. Tesla that some of his known for sure notions of science (electricity) couldn't hold a candle to what Mr. Tesla demonstrated as actually being capable of.

Alas that many others of Mr. Tesla's contemporaries did not.

Thanks for your allowing me to ramble,

Ken

PS. Egad! I just remembered that he was researching wireless transmission of electrical energy! In reference to what I said above about our bodies running the way they do, would that make Mr. Tesla a reiki master!?





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